UK’s Drug Driving Epidemic

Police in West Yorkshire and Merseyside arrested hundreds of motorists suspected of driving under the influence of drink or drugs this Christmas. West Yorkshire Police made over 300 arrests, while Merseyside Police detained 469 drug-drivers and 191 drink-drivers over the festive season. These figures reveal a concerning rise in the number of intoxicated drivers compared to last year.

The arrests were made as part of annual drink and drug driving crackdowns. In West Yorkshire, officers conducted roadside breath tests and drug wipes between 1 December and 1 January, apprehending fewer drink and drug-drivers than last year’s festive campaign, which ran for a longer period.

According to West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit Chief Inspector James Farrar, New Year’s Day saw the most drink-driving arrests while New Year’s Eve had the highest number of drug-driving arrests. Several offenders have already been brought to court, with some receiving fines and driving bans before Christmas. Another 50 arrested in December face hearings in the coming weeks.

Farrar expressed frustration over the recurrent excuses officers have heard from detained motorists. He asserted that there is no justification for drink or drug-driving.

In Merseyside, drug-driving arrests jumped by over 100 compared to last year. Shockingly, the force apprehended thousands of suspected drug-drivers across 2023.

Merseyside Police’s Roads Policing Chief Inspector Stuart McIver described the figures as an epidemic of drug-driving. He condemned the drivers for using recreational drugs and endangering others through intoxicated driving when they had other transport options available. McIver stressed that drug-driving should face the same stigma as drink-driving.

The high number of arrests proves much work remains to curb intoxicated driving. Harsher punishments and awareness campaigns may help deter would-be offenders. But ultimately, drivers must make responsible choices and arrange alternate transport when impaired, as the freedom to drive comes with the duty to protect innocent lives.

Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

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

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