Rehabilitation for drug-drivers
Government calls for evidence and views on the introduction of courses as part of sentencing
The government is looking to bolster conditions and penalties on drug drivers.
Under new plans unveiled, drug-drivers could be required to undertake rehabilitation courses before being allowed back behind the wheel.
Currently, those convicted of drug-driving are handed a driving ban, prison sentence or fine by the courts. However, unlike drink-drivers, they aren’t required to complete rehabilitation courses before resuming driving.
A call for evidence has been made by the Government, asking whether drug-drivers should have to undergo rehabilitation.
Evidence is also being sought on the relationship between medicinal cannabis and road safety.
The proposed move aims to make drug-driving ‘as much of a social taboo’ as drink-driving.
According to the Government, drink-drive related deaths and injuries ‘are now very rare on UK roads’. Deaths due to drink-drivers fell 88% between 1979 and 2015. However, there has been an increase in drug-related driving offences, with over 12,000 convicted in 2019. Some 44% of those were committed by reoffenders.
Of course, when considering drug driving statistics, it is important to keep in mind that drug-driving laws were only introduced in 2015.
In 2020, 713 people were seriously injured in drug-driving collisions, up from 499 in 2016. Some police forces are now arresting more drug drivers than drink-drivers.
Meanwhile, statistics also show non-attendees to drink-driving rehabilitation courses are over twice as likely to commit a new drink-driving offence within three years. By offering high-risk drug-driving offenders the same support, the Government hopes to bring down the number of repeat offenders.
Grant Shapps, transport secretary, says that “drink-driving is now rightly seen as a social taboo by most of us in this country”.
“If we are to make our roads safer still, there is no room to be lax on drug-driving”.
“It’s only right that drug-drivers must undergo rehabilitation before getting back behind the wheel”.
This is the first of several steps the Government is planning this year to reduce the problem of drink and drug driving.