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Rise in number of drug drivers in West Mercia

By Dominic Robertson | Crime | Published:

Almost 70 drivers a month were caught under the influence of drugs in just one year, new figures revealed today.

The numbers show that 834 people were caught drug driving on the roads of West Mercia in 2018.

Concerns have been raised over the number of drivers continuing to drive under the influence of drugs.

The number is an increase on 2017 when it was 806, and in 2016 when it was 673.

There has been a huge hike since 2015, although that has come about as a result of a change in the law, and the ability for police to easily test drivers at the side of the road.

Superintendent Mel Crowther, of West Mercia Police, said: “The increase in drug drive cases since 2015 follows the introduction of new drug drive laws that were introduced in March 2015.

“These new laws made it a lot easier for police to tackle drivers who choose to drive under the influence of cannabis or cocaine with new roadside testing kits available.

“Despite increased enforcement and campaign activities over the past few years there are still people out there who feel they can gamble with driving under the influence of drugs and motorists out there that are not aware how long drugs can stay in your system.

“Cracking down on those who take drugs and then decide to drive is a year round commitment for us. Our message is simple – don’t risk it, the consequences are not worth it!”

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Unsurprisingly the largest number of people caught drug driving are detected in December – also famously a focus of concerted anti-drink-drive campaigns.

In total 121 people were caught in December 2018, 107 in December 2017, and 151 in December 2016. Prior to the legal changes there were only 21 people caught across the whole year of 2014.

In 2015, when the changes were introduced, 216 people were caught, with 107 of those in December.

In total, 1465 people were caught throughout 2018, compared to 1619 in 2017.

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