100 drug drivers arrested across South Yorkshire in four months

South Yorkshire Police have tested 118 drivers under new drug driving laws since they were introduced in March. Pictured is Paula Townsend with the drug testing machine.
South Yorkshire Police have tested 118 drivers under new drug driving laws since they were introduced in March. Pictured is Paula Townsend with the drug testing machine.
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A total of 100 people have now been arrested for drug driving in South Yorkshire, just 117 days after new laws came into force.

Officers have carried out 179 tests since the legislation on driving under the influence of drugs was passed on March 2, with 100 testing positive for drugs at the wheel.

The change in the law means drug driving is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988, driving while over the prescribed limit and carries the same penalties as drink driving.

Chief Inspector Glen Suttenwood, who heads up the force’s Roads Policing team, said: “Making 100 arrests in less than four months after the change in legislation demonstrates our officers’ commitment to making South Yorkshire’s roads safer.

“This is a landmark achievement and I am incredibly proud of the team across the region for their dedication to this cause.”

Of the drug screening tests that have been completed on drivers at the roadside following a vehicle being stopped, 69 of the tests highlighted that cannabis was present in the driver’s system.

In 21 of the tests, cocaine was present and in ten tests, there was evidence that both cocaine and cannabis were present.

CI Suttenwood continued: “It is alarming how many people think that they are able to drive with illegal substances in their systems.

“Drugs severely impair your ability to drive and anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is putting not only their own lives at risk, but the lives of any passengers and those in the community.

“We will not tolerate such disregard for other peoples’ safety and will continue to do everything we can to tackle the issue of drug driving.”