Police to launch summer drug-driving crackdown

Motorists are being warned over a new police crackdown on drink and drug-driving as their summer crackdown on bad driving begins.

The initiative, spearheaded by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) will now specifically target those suspected of drug-driving, using new testing kits officially introduced in March.

These new devices will be able to identify even trace amounts of cocaine and cannabis in a driver’s system by taking a small sample of saliva from suspected drug-drivers.

New drug-driving legislation introduced in March

Results are available within eight minutes, and are indicated by the appearance of lines on the newly-approved devices, working in a similar manner to a pregnancy test.

Suzette Davenport, head of the NPCC, said that the Council especially wants to get the message of the campaign across to younger motorists, who are statistically the most at risk.

She added that police forces across the country are now better equipped than ever to tackle drivers who take drugs or alcohol, whether it’s first thing in the morning or the last thing at night.

Last summer, nearly seven per cent of motorists pulled over on suspicion of drink-driving proved positive or failed or refused to take the test, equating to 4,108 breath tests out of 63,688.

Road safety charity Brake believes that the culture of drink-driving is changing, with its deputy chief executive Julie Townsend saying that the practice seems to be becoming more socially unacceptable.

A recent study from the RAC also showed that more than a third of drivers in the UK believe that the drink-driving limit should be reduced to the same as Scotland, which was dropped last year.

Since the legislation came into force, offences have fallen by 17 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to statistics from Police Scotland.

Drivers want the drink-drive limit reduced

The new drug-driving legislation which was introduced in March is another key measure in bringing risky and impaired motorists to justice, according to Ms Townsend.

However, she added that there’s still a “long” way to go before drink and drug-driving is stamped out altogether.

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