Drug drive arrests up 800%

29/02/2016
Highways Reporters

Drug drive arrests have soared by up to 800% in a year after the government introduced tough new laws to catch and convict offenders, according to initial figures from police forces.

A new easy-to-use roadside swab test which can catch drug offenders was introduced on 2 March last year (2015). To mark the first anniversary, the government is launching a new advertising campaign targeted at young men who are most likely to drug drive – to make it clear that if you drug drive, you’re more likely to be caught and convicted as a result of the roadside swab.

The roadside swab identifies drug drivers on the spot.

Provisional figures show that in Cheshire alone officers arrested eight times as many suspected drug drivers than in 2014, with over 530 from March 2015 to January 2016 – up from 70 in the whole of the previous year.

Police forces have been given an additional £1 million to train officers, purchase drug screening equipment and pay for samples to be analysed.

Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones said: “Thanks to our tougher law, police are catching and convicting more dangerous drivers.

“The government will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with police as they work tirelessly to protect the public while recognising enforcement alone is not the answer. We need to educate and influence behaviour change which is why we are pushing on with our THINK! campaign, which has helped change attitudes towards drink-driving and ultimately save lives.”

Cheshire Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “Cheshire Police’s figures speak for themselves. We have taken a no nonsense approach to using this new legislation as part of our wider work to target criminals who use our road networks.”

Under the new drug-driving laws once suspects are charged, 98% have been convicted - compared to 80% for the old offence.

During the Christmas 2015 drink and drug drive campaign, 1,888 drug screening tests were carried out in just one month across England and Wales, and nearly 50% were positive showing how well the police have been in targeting suspected offenders.

The drug drive law changes in England and Wales have made it illegal to drive with 17 controlled drugs above a specified limit in the blood. Motorists who get behind the wheel after taking illegal drugs face a criminal record, loss of their licence for at least a year and an unlimited fine. It remains an offence to drive while impaired, by any drug at any amount.

Drugs that can be tested for at the roadside are cannabis and cocaine, while the evidential laboratory test can identify all the drugs covered by the law including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin.

To mark the first anniversary, THINK! is running a campaign with cinema, radio, and online videos to drive awareness showing that if you drug drive, you’re more likely to be caught and convicted as a result of the roadside swab.

This will be complemented by digital display, social media and displays in pub and club washrooms to reach young men when they are planning, or are on, a night out.
Highways jobs

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director

Hounslow London Borough Council
Up to £82k
Working across a wide range of high profile direct services, the emphasis for this role is on partnership working. Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Head of Parks and Environmental Services

Harrogate Borough Council
£58,778 - £61,882
You will have experience at a senior level in the management and delivery of front line services relevant to the functions Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Harrogate Borough Council

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Principal Transport Planner – 2 posts (Warrington Waterfront Western Link)

Warrington Borough Council
£40,760 - £43,662 plus essential car user allowance
We are looking to form a new Warrington Waterfront Western Link Team and we are looking to fill a number of key posts Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Director of Integrated Transport

Liverpool City Region
Salary up to £124,848
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is embarking on a search for an exceptional individual with the passion to deliver on our vision Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region

Highways Manager

Oxford Direct Services
G11
Oxford Direct Services
Recuriter: Oxford Direct Services

Data Entry Administrator

Telford & Wrekin Council
£18,795 - £19,171
Telford & Wrekin’s Public Protection Service is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated Data Entry Administrator Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Trading Standards Officer (Intellectual Property)

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 Per annum
Seeking to recruit highly motivated and experienced Trading Standards Officer’s to join our busy Business and Consumer Services team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Project Manager (LED Project)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
Seking a knowledgeable and engaging Project Manager to lead, shape and steer a professional engineering service.   Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Principal Planning Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£42,656 to £51,690
We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic Principal Planning Officer within our Development Management Team, based in Richmond.  Twickenham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Health and Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
The Successful candidate will hold BSc/MSc or Diploma in Environmental Health and be EHRB registered as an... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Safety, Health and Environment Technician Apprentice

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,171 to £19,945
Are you a self-starter, have a willingness to learn and have a proactive approach? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Zero carbon roads?

Modelling the future

A breath of fresh air

View the latest issue

Latest Video