Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 6°C


Drug drivers banned for 4,599 months and fined almost £60k in last year

PUBLISHED: 17:01 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 22 October 2018

A drug wipe test proves positive for one driver  Picture: SUFFOLK ROADS AND ARMED POLICING TEAM

A drug wipe test proves positive for one driver Picture: SUFFOLK ROADS AND ARMED POLICING TEAM


Almost £60,000 of fines were handed out to drug-drivers across Suffolk in the last year as figures revealed almost half of those tested at the roadside gave positive saliva samples.

The DrugWipe kit used by Suffolk Constabulary  Picture: SIMON PARKERThe DrugWipe kit used by Suffolk Constabulary Picture: SIMON PARKER

The rate of motorists successfully prosecuted following arrest on suspicion of driving with banned levels of drugs or medicine in their system was deemed “outstanding” by Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC).

Statistics for the year ending September 2018 showed 73.25% of 680 arrests made following failed roadside tests led to a charge or postal court summons.

New drug drive laws came into force from March 2015 setting limits for eight drugs associated with illegal use, such as cannabis and cocaine, along with eight common legally prescribed drugs.

Under legislation, officers use DrugWipe detector kits to check for the presence of illegal drugs in saliva before further blood tests are carried out at a police station.

Since last October, 1,500 kits have been issued throughout the force largely funded by an extra £120,000 from the Suffolk RoadSafe board at the end of 2017.

Together with colleagues in Norfolk, Suffolk police used the third most drug wipe tests of any forces in the country with 45% of tested drivers providing positive samples at the roadside.

Those brought before the court received a total of £58,826 in fines, 4,599 months in road bans, 172 weeks of imprisonment and 179 days in community orders with 2,562 hours of unpaid work.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks said: “The arrest to prosecution rate is about three quarters. It’s not quite an absolute liability offence (one not requiring proof of knowledge or fault on the part of defendant) but the charge rate is pretty high.

“If we added the numbers being processed at any one time (136 released under investigation), the rate would be even higher.

“I’m satisfied that we’re effective in taking drug-drivers off the road but we have to keep up the preventative message.

“It’s key that we still receive support from the PCC and others in order to afford the drug wipes.”

Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said: “People should be aware that if they’re stupid enough to take drugs and drive, they’re going to punished.

“A lot has been done to take a serious approach to drug-driving and these figures are outstanding.

“Roads policing officers are pleased to have this capability.”

A pigeon cull on Ipswich Waterfront has been suspended following plans from protestors to “disrupt” the event.

Restoring a village pub that was once John Peel’s favourite watering hole has been a labour of love for two families in Rattlesden, who couldn’t bear to see their local pub falling into a state of disrepair.

Schoolchildren joined a poignant suffragette march through Ipswich to mark the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.

This was the moment a miraculous double rainbow appeared over an Ipswich school.

The Ipswich-based Volvo retailer, Donalds Garage has celebrated the opening of their new multi-million-pound showroom at Futura Park.

Looking for bargain toys in the run-up to Christmas? If so, there’s still just time to take advantage of Argos three for two toy sale - while Smyths has unveiled early Black Friday offers.

Serious safety incidents led to 35 deaths at the region’s mental health trust over a six month period, figures have revealed.

Ipswich is expected to have one of the fastest-growing city economies in the UK in the three months following the scheduled date for leaving the EU, according to a new report.

A road in a coastal town centre has been shut at short notice for emergency repairs.

Suffolk last week took a step nearer to taking charge of enforcing parking along streets, writes Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24