Is drug driving more acceptable than drink driving?

Published: 29/04/2015

A government study has found than drug drivers believe that it is more acceptable to drive whilst under the influence of drugs than drink. The study found that drug drivers believe that their ability to drive is not seriously affected by taking drugs such as cannabis or cocaine, indeed some of the survey participants commented that they believed that smoking cannabis before driving calmed them down meaning they were less likely to have an accident whilst others maintained that cocaine made them feel more alert whilst driving. Most of the respondents in the survey agreed that whilst drink driving was socially unacceptable, driving whilst under the influence of drugs did not carry the same stigma.

The law on drug driving in England and Wales was tightened last month giving the police the power to test for cannabis and cocaine using a saliva swab at the side of the road. The guilty could face up to six months in jail, an automatic year-long driving ban and a £5,000 fine.

Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith comments:

“When you consider that up to 200 deaths a year might be caused by people driving under the influence of drugs it’s a worrying thought that drug drivers believe this behaviour is socially acceptable. Worse still, some believe that their drug taking might actually improve their driving!

“My experience helping those injured in road traffic accidents means that I've had plenty of opportunities to see the life changing effects of car accidents. Both drug driving and drink driving are completely unacceptable and every death that occurs as a consequence of these practices is a needless death.”

Content correct at time of publication

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