Expert on drugs and alcohol testing calls on Police and Crime Commissioners

Expert on drugs and alcohol testing calls on Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales to do more to tackle drug driving as alarming numbers released by Merseyside Police show the extent of the problem.

Ean Lewin, Managing Director of Cold Chain Federation member D.tec International, the UK’s sole distributor of DrugWipe, the global leader for police roadside driver drug screening, used by all 43 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland, has called on Police and Crime Commissioners to get serious about tackling a rapidly growing drug driving culture.

As Operation Limit, a 6-week nationwide crackdown on drink and drug driving which has seen all of 43 UK police forces increase efforts to catch drink and drug drivers draws to a close, arrest numbers being published by some police forces show the scale of the problem.

In particular, Merseyside Police released a statement on New Year’s Eve saying that the force had so far made more than 500 arrests during the campaign – 154 for drink-driving and an alarming 351 (70%) for drug driving.

In their statement, Tim Pottle, Roads Policing Sergeant, said: “Making 500 arrests is not to be welcomed, but it shows how serious we take drink and drug driving offences”.

It’s this approach and focus on roads policing which Ean Lewin says; “Is essential if the UK is to have any hope of addressing an out of control drug driving culture”.

He added; “Having seen again that drug driving offences are more than twice that of drink driving offences, it is time for all Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales to follow Merseyside’s example and to prioritise specific funding to create both the education and importantly, the deterrent to drug driving, which collectively will make our roads safer.

At a road safety reception in Parliament last month, the new Roads Minister, Richard Holden MP, recognised in his speech to a packed room of road safety experts and stakeholders, the urgent need to tackle drug driving among other causes of serious injuries and deaths on UK’s roads.

Ean Lewin said “The minister cannot ignore these numbers or those recently published by the Ministry of Defence (MOJ), which indicate that 206 drug and drink driving offences are committed every day in England and Wales – a total of 75,159 offences per annum and that drug driving offences have more than trebled over the past five years from 7,683 in 2017, to 27,962 by the end of 2021.

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