Cumbria drug driving rates among highest in country

CUMBRIA has been revealed as one of the country’s top areas for drug driving.

The county is one of the areas with the highest number of drug driving offences when adjusting for population.

Recording the seventh highest number of such offences, the county had a rate higher than Greater Manchester and London.

Cumbria has seen offences jump from 2.6 per 100,000 people in 2015 to 48.8 in 2020.

Although being ‘unfit’ to drive under the influence of drugs has been illegal since 1988, laws brough it in 2013 set out the amount of drugs a person could have in their system without breaking the law.

From 2015, police forces were allowed to perform roadside saliva tests on those they suspected to be under the influence. 

North Wales and Merseyside have recorded the highest rates of drug driving offences.

Cumbria Police said the county’s advancing rates were down proactive operations. 

A police spokesperson said: “We want to make Cumbria’s roads safer. Drugs and alcohol, can have a dangerous impact on your driving.

“If you are caught, we will look to prosecute and bring you before the courts.

“Drivers are responsible for their actions when they get behind the wheel.

“Driving while impaired can have fatal or life changing consequences for the driver, their families, other road users or pedestrians.

“The number of offenders we have caught illustrates the hard work of officers in bringing dangerous drivers off the counties roads.

“We and will continue to identify and deal with those breaking the law and hope this serves as a stark warning that it just isn’t worth it.”

Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner, Peter McCall, issued a warning, saying: “The data does not necessarily prove that people in Cumbria are more likely to drive under the influence of drugs than anywhere else in the country, it does though demonstrate that if you do, you are more likely to be caught and prosecuted.  

“Cumbria Police robustly deal with offenders on our roads for the safety of everyone and I strongly support them in doing so.  

“The message is clear: driving under the influence of drugs and for that matter alcohol, is irresponsible, dangerous and selfish, if you choose to do so, then you are highly likely to be caught and should expect to be dealt with robustly by Cumbria Police.”

The Westmorland Gazette | News