Drug Driving Overtaking Drunk Driving

Drug driving arrests exceeded drink driving arrests in some UK regions during the Christmas holiday season, according to new statistics from police forces. Areas like Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Thames Valley, and others saw more drivers arrested for drug-related offences versus alcohol.

This growing trend points to the need for greater awareness around the dangers and consequences of getting behind the wheel while impaired.

Widespread Issue

The data shows that drug driving has become prevalent across different parts of the country. While specific stats varied between regions, arrests broadly spiked over the December holidays when police mounted crackdown campaigns.

For example, Merseyside Police recorded 469 drug driving arrests compared to 191 for drunk driving during December 2022. Other forces reported higher drug cases as well, including:

  • Greater Manchester: 243 drug arrests vs 199 alcohol
  • Sussex: 146 drug arrests vs 115 alcohol
  • Thames Valley: 245 drug arrests vs 240 alcohol

These figures indicate that driving under the influence of substances like cannabis and cocaine has reached concerning levels among some demographics of drivers.

Risks and Effects

Despite potential perceptions, drug driving carries significant dangers just like drunk driving. Reaction times, perception, coordination and alertness can all become dangerously impaired.

Drug driving also leads to deadly outcomes on the roads. Families like those of Lillian Groves and Sam Morris have lost loved ones to horrific collisions caused by drug intoxicated motorists.

And beyond causing catastrophic crashes, simply being arrested and convicted can destroy lives with crushing fines, bans, prison time and criminal records. Yet the prevalence shows too many underestimate these consequences.

While attitudes may be shifting, we clearly need greater emphasis on explaining why drug driving ruins innocent lives and why it must stop. Only through education and changing perceptions can we address this trend.

What Next?

Police enforcement and arrests aim to deter offending and punish offenders. But the ultimate goal must be promoting smarter choices behind the wheel.

Young drivers seem most at risk judging by the demographics thus far. Targeting awareness campaigns during schooling and via social media may have an impact on attitudes and culture. Peer pressure shouldn’t push anyone to drive impaired.

However with drug driving still destroying families and leaving others picking up the pieces, all drivers must take responsibility, think twice and make better decisions. No journey is so urgent as to justify risking lives by climbing behind the wheel while unfit to drive.

Photo: “Police Car” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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