Campaigners are pushing for a new rule which would see offenders given longer sentences if they have both drugs and drink in their bloodstream. The new rule may also introduce a lower blood alcohol limit which will mean less tolerance is given to offenders.
He warned a “consistent approach” was badly needed to ensure UK roads remained safe.
He said: “This report by PACTS shows we still lack answers to vital questions on drug driving. The number of offences and deaths detected so far may be only the tip of the iceberg.
“The police have made big strides in catching drug drivers over the past five years. But it remains a postcode lottery.
“While some forces are testing hundreds of drivers, others are rationing patrols to a single test. These disparities cannot be explained by differences in drug driving and the danger it creates.
“A more consistent approach is badly needed, with all forces testing for drug driving where it is suspected.
“Driving under the influence of a combination of drink and drugs, even at relatively low levels, is particularly dangerous.
“This is not widely understood and there is no specific offence for drink and drug driving. This needs to change.”
The analysis for PACTS shows 12,391 people were convicted of a drug-driving offence in 2019.
However, they warned numbers are rising fast with reoffending rates increasingly high.
Nearly half of drug driving offences are committed by those who have broken the rule before highlighting the need to get on top of the issue.
Neil Worth, Chief Executive of road safety group GEM said he was “concerned” about the varying levels of enforcement.
He said: “We are concerned that levels of enforcement vary so much from force to force.
“Let’s be clear, driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and entirely inappropriate.
“This is why we fully support the recommendations of the PACTS report and call for greater consistency in sentencing.
“It is vital to send a strong safety message to those who consider it acceptable to drive after taking drugs.”
Published at Mon, 01 Mar 2021 21:16:41 +0000