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VIDEO: 242 drug-driving arrests in first year of new law

VIDEO: 242 drug-driving arrests in first year of new law

Published at 7:01am 3rd March 2016. (Updated at 10:15am 3rd March 2016)

Since the introduction of new legislation, North Yorkshire Police has made 242 arrests for drug-driving, with 108 people being charged with the offence and another 50 to 60 currently on bail awaiting analysis results.

Since March 2015, it's been illegal to drive if you have one of 17 controlled drugs in your blood, above a specified limit.

The detection of drug-drivers has also become quicker because of the introduction of drug wipe kits.

Officers are now equipped with portable roadside drug tests which allow them to determine whether a drug is present in someone's system in under 10 minutes.

To raise awareness about drug-driving and how easy it is to be caught and prosecuted, the force has produced a film of the end-to-end process of being stopped, tested and arrested.

It shows how quickly and easily a positive result can be returned and depicts the experience of being arrested and taken into custody.

 

Traffic Constable Andy Ingram, who appears in the film, said: "The film depicts how we can use these simple, straightforward tools to detect if a person has been drug-driving, so we can get them off the road. In a few minutes, we can receive a positive result and place someone under arrest.

"The message is clear - if you choose to take drugs and get behind the wheel, the likelihood is you'll be arrested."

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick added: "We welcomed the introduction of this legislation last year - any additional powers which enable us to get dangerous drivers off the road and help us tackle road safety issues is a positive step in the right direction.

"As an active partner in 95 Alive, we have seen a marked reduction in the number of fatal and serious accidents in North Yorkshire, however, drug-driving continues to be a serious threat to all road users. As such, we are committed to targeted enforcement based on the intelligence provided by our investment in the ANPR network.

"We are currently running Operation Task, a roads enforcement activity at weekends when statistics show us drug-driving is at its peak. On the first day of the operation, two people were arrested for drug-driving.

"The enforcement activity is set to continue for the next three weekends - those that choose to take drugs and get behind the wheel need to be aware that we are ready and waiting to detect, arrest and convict them."