Officers investigating an affray at a football match in Wixams on Saturday are appealing for witnesses. Image: iStock

Driving while under the influence of drugs can destroy lives forever, Bedfordshire Police warns today (16 August 2021) at the start of a national drug driving campaign.

The police said drug taking impairs reaction times and the ability to think clearly. Adding, that as a result, motorists driving under the influence of drugs are twice as likely to be involved in a collision. Those collisions are five times more likely to kill someone.

Last year in Bedfordshire there were 21 serious and fatal collisions involving drugs.

With drugs staying in the system longer than alcohol, motorists can test positive days later, increasing the chances of getting caught. Penalties for drug driving include a criminal record, a 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and a prison sentence.

Chief Inspector Stephen O’Keeffe, head of the tri-force Roads Policing unit, said:

“Driving while under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous. They affect people in a variety of ways, all of which impair the way you think, act and react. The consequences of this can be devastating when you are supposed to be in control of a moving vehicle.

“Anyone whose driving appears erratic, reckless or otherwise impaired will be stopped by our officers. If a drug test is refused or returns a positive result, we will not hesitate to take further action. Drug driving is a serious crime that destroys lives. If convicted, you face a hefty fine as well as the possibility of a driving ban or prison time, not to mention the chance of losing your job.”

To report a drug driving incident, call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Anyone who takes drugs is encouraged to seek advice and support from the drug charity FRANK.