10th Dec, 2016

Startling scale of drug-driving in Warwickshire revealed

Stratford Editorial 5th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

AN ALARMING number of young men on Warwickshire’s roads are taking drugs before driving.

Nearly half of male drivers aged 18 to 24 failed drug swab tests following accidents in a three month period.

Police carried out 43 tests following crashes, with 12 drivers testing positive for cannabis, four for cocaine, while two had traces of both illegal drugs.

Forty of those stopped were men.

Supt Daryn Elton of Warwickshire Police said: “Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for us.

“Despite many warnings over the years about the dangers of drink/drug driving, there are still far too many reckless drivers ignoring the devastating consequences.

“Alcohol and drugs both affect your ability to judge speed and distances accurately and slow down your reaction time. We’re urging people to think hard about the consequences that a collision could lead to.

“We are very aware that certain times of the year can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive after taking drugs or drinking.

“We are about to launch a targeted police enforcement campaign over the summer period and extra patrols will be conducted in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drink or drug driving.”

Those convicted of drink driving face an unlimited fine, a driving ban, and even a prison sentence. All those stopped were issued with court summons.

Warwickshire County Council has also launched a campaign in an effort to drive the drug driving message home.

County community safety spokesman Coun John Horner said: “These statistics show drivers under the influence of drugs are very likely to get caught at the roadside and convicted.

“It sends a strong message to drug users. One we hope will make them think twice and pick another option before getting behind the wheel.”

“The police are doing a good job of catching people high behind the wheel – but as always, prevention is better than conviction.”