Nearly 20,000 drivers disqualified for drug offences in 15-month period

Of the 19,615 motorists banned for drug-driving between January 2018 and March 2019, 18,175 were male and 44 were less than 17-years-old

A total of 19,615 motorists were disqualified for drug-driving offences in the 15-month period between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2019, according to Government figures.

Data released by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) in a Freedom of Information Request shows 18,175 (92.7 per cent) of the banned drivers were male. Of these offenders, 44 were under the legal driving age of 17, with five 15-year-olds and 39 16-year-olds being disqualified for drug offences before even being able to obtain a licence.

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Just 1,440 drivers banned for drug-driving offences in the 15-month period were female and none were below the legal driving age, although five were just 17 years-old. Combined with 196 17-year-old males, these figures reveal a total of 201 people were disqualified for drug-driving within their first year of legally being allowed on the road.

At the other end of the scale, four drivers aged 70 or over were banned for drug offences during the period – three men and one woman. There were also 74 drivers in their 60s banned for the same reason – two of these were female, and the rest male.

Am average of around 60 drivers face court sanctions for drug-driving every day, according to the figures, with 25-year-olds highlighted as the worst offenders.

Although the data does not show whether a prison sentence was imposed along with the disqualification, 14,829 (76 per cent) of the bans were for one to two years. In contrast, just seven were for a period of 10 or more years.

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and former Road Safety Minister, told Auto Express: “What these statistics show is that drug driving is a hidden epidemic. Those who misuse substances then take control of a vehicle are not only putting their own lives at risk but also the safety and lives of all other road users.

“Those who misuse substances then take control of a vehicle are not only putting their own lives at risk but also the safety and lives of all other road users.”

 Is drug driving a greater risk than drink driving? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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