240 ar­rested for drug-driv­ing in just 9 months

Macclesfield Express - - GROOM HIT BRIDESMAID IN WEDDING PUNCH-UP - STU­ART GREER

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.

“Over the

past

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

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