Police crackdown on drug-driving reveals nearly half of people under illegal influence - The Coventry Observer

15th Aug, 2022

Police crackdown on drug-driving reveals nearly half of people under illegal influence

Shaun Reynolds 28th Jan, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A STAGGERING 41 per cent of drivers over the Christmas period tested positive for drugs after being stopped as part of the West Midlands Police Christmas crackdown.

Officers were armed with roadside testing kits after securing £40,000 of Government funding for the December drink-and-drug-drive campaign.

Of the 130 motorists stopped – aged between 18 and 75 – 54 were positive for being behind the wheel under the influence of illegal substances.

From the drivers asked to provide a breath test, 176 were positive or failed to give a sample – a total of 18 per cent, compared to the national average of five per cent.

The highest recorded breath test was 163mg per 100ml of breath – more than four times the drink-drive limit.

Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) carried out the intelligence-led campaign with West Midlands Police.

Officers were armed with mobile drug testing kits over the festive period for the first time as new legislation to help police catch drivers suspected of being under the influence of cocaine or cannabis came into force last Spring.

CMPG chief inspector Jed White said: “Our approach was intelligence-led and the campaign showed we were targeting the right people.

“It is never acceptable to get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs – this poses a risk to others, let alone yourself.

“We always believed there was an issue with drug driving, and these roadside testing kits allowed us to see the true reality of the situation.

“The campaign may be over but our officers remain on patrol 24/7 to stop those motorists who pose a risk to the safety of road users.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “People who drive after drinking or taking drugs are a menace on our roads.

“Their actions cause harm, misery and pain.

“Cracking down on these irresponsible people not only makes our roads safer, but sends a strong message to anyone considering driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Making our roads safer is a key part of my police and crime plan.

“These results show that we are serious about cracking down on drink and drug drivers.”

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