Police officers explain how a drug driving test works
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Drug-drivers could be required to undertake rehabilitation courses before being allowed back behind the wheel, under new plans to address the problem, as backed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. The Government is asking whether drug-drivers should have to undergo rehabilitation and increase punishments in a bid to protect drivers across the UK.
Mr Shapps said: “Drink-driving is now rightly seen as a social taboo by most of us in this country and we have worked hard to drive down drink-drive related deaths.
“But if we are to make our roads safer still, there is no room to be lax on drug-driving, which is why I have launched this call for evidence today.
“It’s only right that drug-drivers must undergo rehabilitation before getting back behind the wheel, helping protect the public from this hidden problem and stamping out drug-driving for good.”
According to the Department for Transport, drink-drive related deaths and injuries are now “very rare” on UK roads, with deaths having fallen 88 percent between 1979 and 2015.
However, there has been an increase in drug-related driving offences, with over 12,000 convicted in 2019 and 44 percent committed by reoffenders.
Currently, those convicted of drug-driving are handed a driving ban, prison sentence or fine by the courts, but aren’t required to complete rehabilitation courses before resuming driving – unlike drink-drivers.
In a call for evidence, the Government is asking whether drug-drivers should likewise have to undergo rehabilitation, helping better protect the public.
Statistics show non-attendees to drink-driving rehabilitation courses are over twice as likely to commit a new drink-driving offence within three years.
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By offering high-risk drug-driving offenders the same support, the Government hopes to bring down the number of repeat offenders.
Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said the changes would be welcomed by most safety campaigners and drivers.
He added: “Drug-driving ruins lives and threatens the safety of all road users.
“We welcome proposals to offer drug-driving offenders rehabilitation courses, in the same way those caught drink-driving are offered them, because the evidence shows this helps to reduce reoffending and improves road safety.”
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