Merseyside drug-driving arrests exceeded drink-driving convictions in police Operation Limit campaign

February 23, 2024 by

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Christmas ‘Operation Limit’ campaign by police saw positive results in almost 50% of drug-drive tests

  • Christmas campaign by police sees positive result in almost half of drug-drive tests 
  • Almost one-in-10 of those tested return positive alcohol breath test
  • 14% of people tested were positive for both drugs and alcohol
  • Merseyside tops list of more positive tests for drugs than alcohol

The nationwide Christmas drink and drug drive operation, Operation Limit,to target drunk- or drug-drivers resulted in almost 50% of drug tests being positive, compared to 9.5% of drink-driving tests. Over 6,600 motorists were arrested, of which 1,103 were arrested for both drink and drug-driving. Most offenders for drink and drug-driving tests were male (84%).

Across the country, police stopped 65,012 vehicles and conducted 6,846 drug tests and 49,812 breath tests during the operation. In some areas, positive tests for drug-driving exceeded drink-driving offences, such as Merseyside where police recorded the highest difference of 469 drug-drivers arrested compared to 191 drink-drivers in the period between 30 November 2023 to 1 January 2024.

The instances of drug-driving could in part be fuelled by drivers being unaware how long drugs like cannabis and cocaine can stay in your system, or that police are even capable of testing for it.  

“The number of people who we have witnessed driving whilst under the influence of drugs in Merseyside is simply staggering,” said Roads Policing Chief Inspector for Merseyside, Stuart McIver. “All the stigma and shame that goes with drink-driving absolutely also needs to apply to drug-driving. Using roadside drug wipes so frequently has given us a unique insight into the scale of the problem of drug driving. The number of drug driving offenders we caught across the six weeks of Operation Limit gives you an idea of the true scale of this problem.”

Chief Constable Jo Shiner, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing said: “Drink and drug driving is responsible for many serious and fatal collisions every year and it is completely avoidable. Policing has always taken a robust approach to removing drink and drug drivers from our roads and as long as people continue to undertake this dangerous behaviour, we will continue to make stopping it a core roads policing priority.”

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