Figures have revealed that over 50% of people being stopped for suspicion of drug driving by the police in England and Wales are testing positive.
Newly released official figures have also revealed that the number of arrests for drug driving has dramatically increased by up to 800 per cent since new laws addressing drug use and driving were introduced.
The amount of drivers tested that were found with drugs in their system compares with only five per cent of those stopped for suspicion of drink driving testing positive.
In Cheshire alone, officers arrested around eight times as many suspected drug drivers than in 2014. Over 530 from March 2015 to January 2016 were detained; this figure was up from just 70 people in the whole of the previous year.
Police in the West Midlands area stated that the Christmas campaign of 2015 stopped 130 drivers and 54 of these tested positive for illegal substances.
In a survey conducted by Brake, it was suggested that one in 14 drivers admitted to getting behind the wheel at least once a month after having taken drugs.
According to a survey of police forces, about 63% of the 5,857 motorists stopped were found guilty of using cocaine, cannabis or other banned highs.
In total, officers have caught more than 3,700 people for drug driving.
Just ten per cent of motorists who took roadside alcohol breath tests were found to be over the limit in 2013.
Police have been using ‘drugalyser’ devices that have been described as being “as simple as a pregnancy kit”. The accused will be required to provide a saliva swab to allow police to identify substances within minutes.
Motorists found convicted of drug driving by police will face charges that could include a minimum of a year’s ban, an unlimited fine and up to six months’ in prison. It is questionable that the majority are only handed a short ban and a fine.
The figures supplied are limited and had all police forces supplied data, it is extremely likely that the number of people caught for drug driving would be significantly higher
Labour MP Rob Flello said: “Law-abiding drivers should be very wary as these numbers show the chances of coming across a drugged-up driver are dangerously high.”
Road policing chief Suzette Davenport added: “If that is representative of what is going on it is worrying for us and the public. We have some real challenges.”