Shock over number of suspected drug drivers
THE menace of drug driving on our roads has been exposed as it was revealed that nearly twice as many people were arrested on suspicion of being behind the wheel while unfit through drugs last month than drink driving.
Police say they stopped 46 suspected drug drivers during a crackdown in the borough’s policing area in June.
That was almost double the 25 people held on suspicion of drink driving.
The operation saw higher numbers of people arrested for both drink AND drug driving in Macclesfield than in any of the Cheshire’s forces other eight policing areas.
The figures have shocked Macclesfield councillor Beverley Dooley who is calling for tougher punishments for drug drivers.
Coun Dooley, who represents central ward, said: “When you take drugs and get into a car it is your choice, so penalties should be severe.
“Nine out of 10 times it is someone else that suffers life-changing injuries in an accident rather than the person drug driving.”
Since 2015 all road police officers have been equipped with both alcohol testing kits and drugs wipes, which instantly detect whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Cheshire has one of the highest arrests rates in the UK, with young men between the ages of 21 and 30 making up the majority of the offenders.
Across the county, 131 people were arrested on suspicion of drug driving and 121 were suspected of drink driving.
It leaves up to 252 people facing possible driving bans and fines.
The figures compare to 141 arrests for drink driving and 73 arrests for drug driving in a similar operation in June last year.
Superintendent Martin Cleworth, head of the Cheshire Police Task Force, said the numbers were ‘disappointing’.
He said: “The dangers of both drink and drug driving are well known – it affects your reaction time, making it harder for you to judge your speed, judge your distance between you and other vehicles and notice hazards.
“All of this means that you are more likely to be involved in a collision.
“All of those arrested as part of this operation will now have to face the consequences of their actions, which will have a significant impact on both their personal and professional lives.”
David Keane, Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The consequences of drink and drug driving can be devastating; they can cause a ripple effect that can have shattering ramifications for not only the driver, but innocent members of the public.” potential
A roadside drug testing kit