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1 in 5 admits to drug-driving

07 June 2006

  • 21% have driven after taking drugs
  • One-fifth say its safe to drug drive
  • UK stats one of the worst in Europe

Police need new drug testing kit says insurer

One in five UK motorists has driven shortly after taking illegal drugs, according to a survey by insurer More Than.

Of the 1072 motorists that responded to the survey, 21% admitted to taking to the wheel after taking drugs.

The findings follow on from other Government figures which show that 18% of drivers killed in accidents between 1996 and 2000 had traces of illegal drugs in their system. Between 1985 and 1988 the figure was just 3%.

The More Than survey also found that while 94% of respondents said they wouldn't drive after having a drink, four out of 10 said they still felt safe to do so after taking drugs.

More Than says the UK has one of the worst records for drug-driving in the Europe and is urging the Government to press ahead with the introduction of new roadside detection equipment as soon as possible.

The Home Office and Department for Transport have recently seen the equipment, already used successfully in other European countries like Germany, with a view to introducing its use nationwide.

Currently police have to rely on Field Impairment Tests to detect drugged drivers, asking them to walk in straight lines or recite tongue-twisters. Research by the University of Glasgow found a third of drivers with drugs in their system where able to pass.

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