Drug drive arrests help to keep county’s roads safe

More than 140 arrests for drug driving were made in January – prompting a fresh warning from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership.

Statistics published by Essex Police show 144 drivers were arrested last month on suspicion of the offence, which carries a minimum penalty of a one-year driving ban, as well as an unlimited fine.

Essex Police also recorded more drug driving than drink driving offences during the first month of 2020, with 116 drivers found to be over the legal alcohol limit.

A total of 1,844 drug driving arrests were made in 2019 – more than 2017 and 2018 combined.

Adam Pipe, Head of Roads Policing, said: “We continue to see a large number of drug driving arrests across Essex as we continue our work to keep our roads safe.

“Often we find those we arrest are regular drug users who don’t realise the drugs are still in their system because they don’t feel stoned.

“The reality is you could test positive for cannabis or cocaine 24, 48, 72 hours after last having them because drugs stick around in your system.

“Was that high a few days ago worth losing your licence, and potentially your job and your home, or even your life over?

“We’ve got more than 500 officers trained to use drug wipes so drug drivers are also more likely to be caught than ever before.

“So ask yourself – is the high worth the low?”

In December, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership launched its first ever anti-drug driving-specific campaign, using humour to raise awareness of the issue.

The campaign also aimed to debunk the common belief among drug drivers that they will not get caught.

17 February 2020

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