Massive rise in number of drug-drivers

Drug-driving charges have soared by 140 per cent in the last year alone.

Saturday, 14th May 2016, 9:00 am

New Freedom of Information figures obtained by reveal that in 2015, 1,686 motorists were charged with the offence.

Some of the most common drugs recorded by Police include class A-C drugs including cannabis, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines and ketamine, in addition to prescription medication such as diazepam and codeine.

And as hay fever season strikes Britain, the debate about drug-driving is in full bloom. While warnings over drink driving are more prevalent, new research shows that the effects of drugs on driving ability are not as well known, especially when it comes to medicines.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

While one in eight UK drivers admit to having driven under the influence of prescription medication, the study shows that a whopping fifth are unaware that it is an offence to drive when taking certain prescription medication if it affects someone’s driving.

But it isn’t just prescription medication that is a cause for concern, especially when it comes to purchasing over the counter medication, with little guidance from your GP.

Over a third of UK motorists suffer from hay fever and treat the unpleasant symptoms with anti-histamines and decongestants before taking to the wheel.

Yet when it comes to the recommended guidelines for taking medication to relieve the symptoms of hay fever, many Brits are showing a blatant disregard to advice given with the medication.

One in seven hay fever sufferers admit they never read the label to check if they could experience drowsiness, slow reaction times, or reduced concentration and vision. Moreover, almost one in three motorists who suffer from hay fever are unaware of the different drugs contained in medications which could affect their abilities behind the wheel.