[M]ore drivers were found to be positive for drug driving then drink driving in Cumbria over the festive period.
From December 1 until New Year’s Day, 64 drivers received roadside drugs wipe tests which test a person’s saliva to find if they have taken drugs such as cocaine and cannabis before getting behind the wheel.
A total of 19 drivers failed the tests with the majority failing for cannabis and half a dozen positive for cocaine.
Over the same period, 12 drivers failed for alcohol – from a total of 235 tests.
Chief Inspector Andy Wilkinson said: “We are continuing to train our officers in drugs wipe testing so we can catch drivers who take drugs and get behind the wheel.
“Drugs wipe testing is proving a great tool to help us keep Cumbria’s roads safe and by publicising the amount of people we have caught over the festive period, I hope it will serve as a deterrent to those considering getting behind the wheel after drug use.
“I hope that the low percentage of drivers who tested positive for alcohol reflects the changes we are seeing in society over the past decade – that drink-driving is a completely unacceptable.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “Whilst I welcome the fact that the numbers caught drink-driving are down this year, it is still disappointing that there are people who – despite all the publicity about the dangers – are still deciding to risk everything by getting behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol. Twelve people caught is twelve people too many, and we want to get the message out that this is simply not acceptable.
“As far as the drug-drivers are concerned, I welcome that we have the tools to be able to catch drivers who break the law in this way, and I hope the message is getting out there to those that take drugs and drive, that the police have the means and the resolve to take you off the road, and won’t hesitate to do so to keep Cumbria safe.”
Anyone convicted of drug driving faces a minimum of a 12-month driving ban, as well as a criminal record an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison.
Other consequences can include the loss of employment, loss of independence and increase in car insurance costs.