Just over two years since a new drug screening device was introduced to stamp out dangerous driving, it has been revealed that almost four motorists are failing tests EVERY DAY.
The new rule, introduced in March 2015, allows police to use "drugalysers" to test for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside.
A Freedom of Information request by Confused.com revealed that an astonishing number of drivers are failing the tests every day.
Officers can now check for other substances at police stations, without having to first gather evidence that the driver was impaired, as previously required.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman, said: "This change in law has enabled us to prosecute thousands more dangerous drivers who may have previously escaped detection yet still presented a very serious threat to other road users.
"Far too many people still attempt to drive under the influence of drugs. We are better prepared to catch them than ever before and will ensure that they face the full penalty of law."
But the drugs that could get you banned from driving are not just the obvious illegal substances such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis.
You could also get in trouble with authorities if you take legal drugs that induce drowsiness, such as Codeine, which is used to treat pain.
Matt Lloyd, a Confused.com motoring expert who researched the matter last year, said: “This is particularly alarming given the current time of year, especially as more than a third of motorists admit to suffering from hay fever, with many resorting to medication to help combat the symptoms."
Mr Lloyd continued: "Our advice is simple, before taking any medication people should always read the safety leaflet before driving.
"Or if unsure they should ask the pharmacist or err on the side of caution and don’t drive, as road safety for themselves and others should be a top priority for any driver.”
Legal medication to avoid when driving
- Amphetamine, eg Dexamphetamine or Selegiline
- Morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg Codeine, Tramadol or Fentanyl
Penalties for drug driving
If convicted of drug driving, you could get:
- A minimum one-year driving ban
- An unlimited fine
- Up to six months in prison
- A criminal record
Your licence will also show you have been convicted of drug driving for 11 years.
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