New tests highlight drug drive ‘epidemic’
A significant percentage of drivers are failing the new roadside drug drive tests which were introduced in March 2015, according to reports on BBC News and The Mail Online.
BBC News says that three months into the new legislation 45% of drivers tested in London were found to have taken illegal substances, while in South Yorkshire 52% tested positive.
The new legislation makes it illegal to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified levels, including eight illegal drugs and eight prescription drugs.
Police now have equipment to screen drivers for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside and are also able to test for these and other drugs including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at a police station, even if a driver passes the roadside check.
BBC News interviewed chief constable Dave Crompton from South Yorkshire Police, who has welcomed the new tests.
The Mail Online says the new roadside ‘drugalyser’ tests are revealing a “hidden epidemic of drug-driving across Britain”.
It says that most police forces are recording “alarmingly high hit rates”, with around 50% testing positive.
By comparison, it says just 5% of those stopped for suspected drink-driving last year failed the breathalyser test.