A new law that was introduced in March 2015 has seen a huge increase in the number of drivers successfully handed convictions for drug driving.

The law, which makes it illegal to drive whilst taking certain drugs above a specified level (including 8 illegal drugs and 8 prescriptions drugs), also makes it easier for police to catch offenders. Previously, police had to show that a person’s driving ability was impaired by the drugs. This is no longer necessary and simply the presence of the drugs in your system is enough for a conviction.

Since the change, there has been an 867% rise in the number of drivers convicted of drug driving offences in 2016 as compared to 2014 (the last full year before the new law came into play).

Transport minister Andrew Jones announced the figures at the National Roads Policing Conference saying, “That’s 8,500 people you have caught and successfully convicted of drug driving. 8,500 dangerous drivers taken off our roads. People who are a danger to the public, banned from our roads. No doubt, lives saved. That’s a fantastic result.”

These stricter laws on drug driving also sit alongside the new penalties being introduced for people caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel. You can read more about these penalties here.

All of these crackdowns and changes to the law are being implemented to improve safety on our roads and reduce the number of avoidable road accidents that occur each year. Road safety affects all of us, whether it’s as a motorist, cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or horse rider. Any road users should welcome stricter laws in relation to driving offences, to improve all of our safety and avoid accidents that can result in serious injuries for those involved.

Freeclaim Solicitors are expert road accident compensation solicitors who see the devastating effects that road accidents can have. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, speak to our dedicated team today to see how we could help you.