240 arrested for drug-driving in just 9 months
MORE than 240 motorists have been arrested for drug driving offences in the county since the law changed in March.
New figures released to the Express under the Freedom of Information Act reveal 160 people have been charged and 75 remain on bail for the offence.
The new drug-drive law came into effect on March 1 and equipped police with roadside ‘ drugalysers’ which involved a swab from inside the driver’s mouth.
Tests instantly indicate if a driver has taken can- nabis or cocaine but are sent to laboratories to test for the other substances on the banned list including ‘ecstasy’ and ketamine.
A breakdown of figures to November 28 show 10 drivers of the 165 arrested in Cheshire were in Macclesfield and Poynton, with a further seven across the border in Wilmslow.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts said: “This data is indicative of the robust action we are taking to tackle drink and drug drivers, although it is disappointing to see that a large number of people still feel it is acceptable to drive whilst under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
12 months we have undertaken a large number of operations specifically targeting drink drivers, along with the more worrying trend of drug drivers, and as a force we have embraced the new drug drive laws.
“Driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous; it affects your reaction time, making it harder for you to judge your speed, judge your distance between you and other vehicles and notice potential hazards.
“All of this means that you are more likely to be involved in a collision whilst driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
“As well as the dangers, there are also serious consequences for anyone who is caught drink or drug driving, not only do they face losing their licence, but they also face a large fine, going to court and even the possibility of a prison sentence; all of which could have a big impact upon their life and may affect their employment.”
“We are committed to reducing the number of alcohol and drug related deaths on our roads, and my officers will use all of the tools available to them to help us achieve our goal.”
Motorists convicted of drug-driving are banned for at least a year, and can be fined up to £5,000 or jailed for up to a year.
●● Golden retriever Obi greets patient Patricia Carroll during one of his visits to Macclesfield Hospital to help patients with their recovery