Fleet News

One-fifth own up to drug-driving

ALMOST one-fifth of respondents in a recent survey admitted to having driven while under the influence of drugs and nearly a third said they had got into a car driven by someone they knew to have been smoking cannabis.

The survey, carried out by MotorInsurance.co.uk, found that almost three-quarters of those polled thought more should be done to raise awareness of the perils of being behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs.

However, more than half (55%) believed that society took an equally strong stance against those who drive under the influence of illegal drugs compared to alcohol.

Cannabis is the most common drug to have been used when drug-driving. It causes drowsiness and slows reaction time, impairs steering control and co-ordination, distorts perception and results in poor concentration. Some 29% admitted to getting into a car with someone they knew to have been smoking cannabis and 18% confessed that they had driven under the influence of drugs themselves.

According to the latest statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 18% of people killed in road accidents have traces of illegal drugs in their blood – a six-fold increase since the mid 1980s.

The penalties for driving under the influence of illegal drugs are the same as for drink-driving. Those convicted face a minimum one year ban, a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison.

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