THE number of drivers under the influence of drugs on British roads is higher than ever.
According to the latest figures from the DVLA, 20,407 motorists were caught in 2021 alone.
The Motor Easy study showed that's up from 10,479 in 2018, the 12,219 in 2019 and 14,377 in 2020, clearly indicating that the problem is getting worse.
Meanwhile, the number of drivers who caused death with careless driving while above the limit has gone from 13 in 2018, to 11, six and nine the following three years.
These endorsements carry between three and 11 penalty points and remain on the driver’s record for 11 years.
Among the drug drivers caught in that period were a 78-year-old woman, plus boys aged 14 and 15.
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Police can test for drugs including cannabis and cocaine using roadside 'drugalysers', while other banned substances such as heroin and ecstasy are detected using screening methods back at the station.
The North West of England is the worst for drug driving, with 13,166 offenders in the past five years. The South East is next with 9,929.
They are followed by the East of England with 8,298 and Greater London with 7,171.
South West Scotland has the lowest number of offenders with just 30, followed by Central Scotland on 41.
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Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and CEO of leading motoring association MotorEasy who obtained the figures, said: “There is never an excuse to get behind the wheel while impaired, whether that’s through drugs or alcohol.
“Britain’s drug driving problem is growing each year and urgent intervention is needed to prevent tragedies on our roads.
“Since it became a specific offence in 2015, drug driving convictions continue to increase – whether that’s because more people are doing it or police forces are becoming better at catching those who do.
“We all have a responsibility to other motorists to make sure we are fit to drive and to ensure our roads are as safe as possible.”
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