New figures reveal that the number of drug-driving prosecutions in Britain have almost doubled in a year.
Across England and Wales, 10,232 drug-driving cases went to court in 2018, compared to 5,368 in 2017.
Jack Cousens, from the AA, said: “With recreational drug use on the increase, and prosecutions doubling, drug driving has the hallmarks of a hidden epidemic.”
Zero tolerance driving laws for illegal substances such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin, came into effect in March 2015.
Since then, drug-driving offences have climbed above 10,000 from around 1,500, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.
David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The police know only too well about the worrying prevalence of drug driving and are doing everything in their power to bring perpetrators to justice.”
In December, it was revealed that an average of 37 motorists a day were failing police tests for illegal substances.
In addition, Department for Transport figures showed that 105 people were killed, and 1,787 injured, from drug-related driving accidents in 2017.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “We will continue to take all action we can to deal with motorists who have a selfish disregard for their own safety and the safety of others by drug driving.
“Whilst we welcome the fact we are seeing rising prosecutions of this crime, we remain concerned at the number of those who feel this risk is worth taking.”
This new information comes amid calls to legalise cannabis.
However, studies in the US show an increase in the number of car crashes in states where cannabis has been legalised.
In April, the Scottish Government approved a zero tolerance limit for drug driving, which will come into effect from October.