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New drug-drive laws are a “step in the right direction”

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North Yorkshire Police has cautiously welcomed new drug-drive legislation, which comes into force on 2 March.

Under the new legislation, it will be illegal to drive if you have one of 17 controlled drugs in your blood, above a specified level.

As a result of the new legislation, some police forces will start to use Drager screening equipment to test suspected drug-drivers.

North Yorkshire Police has already been using this equipment in its custody suites for more than a year, as part of a broader process for testing suspected drug-drivers.  But over the coming months, the Force will be looking to make some of its screening equipment mobile, so officers can test for cannabis and cocaine – the most prevalent drug-driving substances – at the road-side.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick is North Yorkshire Police’s lead on road safety.  Speaking about the new legislation, he said:

“Drugs can affect driving in many different ways, and those who get behind the wheel when they are under the influence of illegal or some controlled drugs are putting themselves and others in danger.  Given the serious consequences that can occur, we welcome any additional powers that might help police to tackle road-safety issues.

“This new legislation is a step in the right direction, but there are still some practical challenges with testing for levels of substances in the blood that need to be worked through before the full potential of the new legislation can be realized.”

Last modified: May 9, 2018