08 August 2016
On Saturday 6 August 2016, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Martyn Underhill’s pledge to increase the availability of drug driving test kits within 100 days of taking office was achieved.
Martyn Underhill, who was re-elected on 5 May, said: “The consequences of driving under the influence of drugs can be devastating, which is why I outlined this as an area of focus during my election campaign.
“It is vital we equip as many officers as possible with the skills to test drivers for using drugs whilst driving to bring those who disregard the law to justice.”
On 2 March 2015, changes to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 introduced a new offence of driving while over a prescribed drug limit.
Since that date, Dorset Police has trained all traffic and ‘No Excuse’ team officers to conduct roadside screenings for cannabis and cocaine using mobile testing equipment.
In support of the PCC’s pledge, Dorset Police has extended training to all special constables working with the ‘No Excuse’ team to carry out drug wipe testing. Special Constable, Simon Miller has already secured his first positive roadside screening for drugs during a recent operation.
To date, 48 per cent of drivers tested by Dorset Police officers have given a positive roadside sample, with illegal substances found to be present in the driver’s system.
Inspector Matt Butler of the Alliance Road Policing team, said: “Over the last 12 months, we have arrested 90 people for being in charge of a vehicle whilst under the influence of drugs.
“Powers for testing drivers for drug driving are the same as those for drink driving. We test every driver involved in a fatal or serious injury collision, but also conduct roadside screenings on the basis of intelligence, officer suspicion or following a moving traffic offence.
“Both illegal and prescription drugs can impair your ability to drive, so always consult your doctor before getting behind the wheel.
“When it comes to successfully identifying drug drivers, Dorset Police is the best force in the region. We are committed to tackling the ‘fatal five’, which include drug driving amongst other offences.
“With more trained officers, our ability to crack down on offenders whose actions result in the needless loss of life is now even stronger.”
If you suspect someone of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please dial 999 immediately so we can intercept.
For non-urgent matters or to pass information about someone who regularly drives under the influence of drugs, please go to www.dorset.police.uk and follow the ‘Do it online’ function.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101.
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