Essex Police says it is committed to tackling the drug drive issue – after revealing it made more than 1,800 arrests for the offence in 2019.
A total of 169 drug driving arrests were recorded in December, taking the annual figure to 1,844 – more than 2017 and 2018 combined.
Insp Rob Brettell, from Essex Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “What these numbers show is that if you drug drive in Essex you’re more likely to be caught than ever before.
“The fact is that drugs stay in your system and just because you don’t feel stoned doesn’t mean you’re not over the drug driving limit.
“And as many of those who’ve been arrested will find out – if you’re convicted of drug driving it means you’ll lose your licence and that could have knock-on effects of losing your job and even your home.
“It took decades of campaigning to make drink-driving a social taboo so we know this won’t be a quick fix but we are committed to tackling this issue.”
On 11 December, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership launched its first ever anti-drug driving-specific campaign, using humour to raise awareness of the issue.
The campaign also aimed to debunk the common belief among drug drivers that they will not get caught.
Caroline Churchouse, from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, said: “This is just the start of our work to educate drug-users about the dangers of drug-driving.
“We knew we needed a different approach and our campaign certainly got noticed and generated conversations amongst our target audience.
“A quarter of fatal collisions in 2019 involved a drug-driver. That’s 14 deaths in Essex which could have been easily prevented. Please continue to share our messaging as we enter a new decade, and help us drive down road deaths and serious injuries in our county.”