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RAC responds to results of Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign

News   •   Jan 27, 2016 15:14 GMT

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: "It’s a good to see the new drug-driving law is being enforced, but it is worrying that the December campaign caught so many motorists breaking the law with 50% of those tested proving to be over the limit. Clearly, this kind of testing needs to be carried out constantly to help reduce the number of motorists who are prepared to drive having taken illegal or prescription drugs that impair safe conduct at the wheel.

“Regrettably, our research shows a sizeable minority of motorists (37%) do not believe the new law will reduce the number of drug-drivers on the roads. This is largely because drug-drivers are viewed as risk-takers and so more likely to ignore such a law and risk being caught.

“Findings from the RAC Report on Motoring also confirmed once again that drug-drivers are much more likely to be drink-drivers. Of the 6% who admit to driving under the influence of drugs, two-thirds (4%) also claim to have driven under the influence of alcohol.

“If a police officer suspects that a motorist is driving under the influence of both drink and drugs, they will normally test for alcohol only because this is far cheaper and simpler than testing for illegal drugs and the penalties are similar for both offences. The figures published by the police for positive drug tests are therefore likely to understate the number of motorists caught when driving under the influence of drugs.”