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Transport minister announces new course to educate drink drivers of the dangers of drug driving

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The Department for Transport is trialing the addition of drug driving education to the existing rehabilitation courses for people convicted of driving while over the alcohol limit.

About 1,000 offenders in England and Wales will attend the combined course which has been introduced after figures show a fifth of convicted drug drivers had previously been banned for drink driving.

Andrew Jones, road safety minister, said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and have introduced tougher penalties for drink and drug driving to make them even safer.

“Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs can have catastrophic results, for drivers and passengers and can ruin families’ lives.

“Educating offenders of the dangers of drug driving will help prevent it in the future.”

Since the introduction of new rules around drug driving and testing in March 2015, around 7,000 drivers have been banned compared to 879 in 2014.

Rehabilitation courses allow first time offenders to be educated about the impacts of drink driving on themselves, other road users and the emergency services.

Drink drivers in court are offered to attend a rehabilitation course in return for a lesser fine and shorter ban. The courses will be run until the end of March 2017. The results will then form the basis for a consultation next year to make these rehabilitation courses available for drug drivers.

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