Convictions for drug driving in England and Wales have reached unprecedented levels, the Ministry of Justice has revealed.
During 2021, the number of people found guilty of driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs topped 27,900 – the highest figure to date.
Drug drivers face a minimum one year driving ban, an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison.
Ministry of Justice figures show that convictions for driving under the influence of illegal or certain prescription drugs increased by 43 per cent between 2020 and 2021.
And since drug driving was first made illegal in 2015, there has been a staggering 1,491 per cent rise in reported convictions.
In 2015, there were 38,289 more driving convictions attributed to alcohol than drugs, now that gap has narrowed to fewer than 6,000.
Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of MotorEasy, a national car maintenance business, commented: “Britain’s drug driving problem is growing each year and urgent intervention is needed to prevent tragedies on our roads.”
Last year, research by McGill University in Canada found a link between legal cannabis in the US and an increase in fatal accidents.
The study found that since legalisation, there had been an increase of 15 per cent in fatal collisions and a 16 per cent increase in associated fatalities.
Currently, cannabis is legal for recreational use in 19 US states and Washington DC.
Despite growing evidence of the dangers of drug driving, activists are pushing for cannabis to be legalised in the UK.