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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 06:11 GMT
Drivers ignore drug driving risks
Drug testing
Suspect motorists face roadside tests
One in 20 people who admit to drinking and driving also take illegal drugs before getting behind the wheel, a survey has suggested.

The more alcohol consumed, the greater the likelihood of drug driving, the survey from Green Flag Motoring said.

Its findings follow a Christmas police campaign in north-east England.

"Smoking one cannabis joint has the same effect on drivers' reactions as several pints of beer," a Durham police spokesman claimed.

Chief Inspector Paul Goundry added: "Younger drivers do not realise the dramatic effect drugs can have on their driving."

Dr Rob Tunbridge, head of impairment studies at transport research body TRL, said there had been a "a six-fold increase in illicit drug use since the 1980s".

Whatever the drug, the effects are always unpredictable
Nigel Charlesworth
Green Flag

He said drug driving "significantly increases your chances of being killed or seriously injured in a crash".

"It is not worth the risk."

Green Flag spokesman Nigel Charlesworth said a growing hardcore of drivers "insist in taking high-wire risks with theirs and our lives".

"Whatever the drug, the effects are always unpredictable," he added.

Road safety charity Brake chief executive Mary Williams called for action "to tackle the anti-social minority whose potentially lethal actions seriously threaten the lives of other innocent road users".

"It is deeply disturbing to find some drivers prepared to ignore the message driving whilst impaired can be fatal."

Drug driving showed "a woeful disregard for human life", Ms Williams said.

"Never take illegal drugs and drive."

Police target drugged drivers
15 Dec 03  |  England
Clampdown on drug driving
12 Mar 02  |  Health

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