Figures collected from county police forces in the UK show that 902 motorists failed drugalyser tests in just over two months. The statistics cover the period from 2 March to 11 May 2015 and all those who failed were then arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists requested the figures from the government under Freedom of Information laws. The figures show that London’s Metropolitan Police Force arrested the biggest proportion of suspected drug-drivers with a tally of 214.
Northumbria came second with 97 and was followed by Cheshire with 70. Sussex notched up fourth with 58 arrests. The figures indicated that officers in Gwent, Warwickshire and Leicestershire had not arrested anybody on suspicion of drug-driving up to 11 May.
The figures are not a truly accurate representation of how the new law is working as six of the police forces in England and Wales did not supply any data for the report. New laws regarding drugs and driving were introduced on 2 March.
Home Office Minister Mike Penning stated that the law would help the government stamp out the problem posed by people driving when they were not fit to. He explained that people who drove while high were a danger to other road users as well as to themselves.
The law gives police officers the right to check drivers with the drugalyser. The machines can ascertain whether drivers have taken cocaine or cannabis. Legal permitted levels for these two drugs plus another six including Diazepam and methadone have been set really low.