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Survey suggests there are one million drug drivers: Brake

Tuesday 5th August 2014

Brake says that a recent survey it conducted suggests “the equivalent of one million UK drivers admit driving on drugs in the past year, and just over one in 10 think they may have been a passenger with one”.

Brake says the findings suggest an “alarming level of ignorance or complacency about the effects of illegal drugs”, especially among male and young drivers.

In the survey of 1,000 drivers, 3% admitted to driving after taking illegal drugs in the past 12 months which Brake says equates to one million drivers.

29% of respondents said they wouldn't always speak out if a friend was going to drive on drugs, and 5% wouldn't speak out even if their friend was driving while “clearly out of control”.

Brake says that young people (18%) and men (15%) are most likely to have “possibly or definitely been a passenger with a driver on drugs” in the past year.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Drug driving is a menace that causes absolute devastation to families and communities, and ends too many lives too soon.

“Our message to everyone is never to underestimate the effects of illegal drugs on driving. If someone is on drugs, they are not fit to drive, even if they don't seem obviously impaired.

“Look out for your friends, and if you think they might be driving on drugs, speak out. You will stop them putting innocent lives in danger, and you may stop them going to jail."

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The survey gives no indication of the ages, locations or occupations of the people surveyed so its findings will be slightly suspect. If the drivers surveyed were all questioned in the car park of a dance music festival for example then the 3% figure would be quite encouraging!
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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