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A pilot scheme is being rolled out that will educate drink drivers on the dangers of drug driving.

The drug driving education scheme is now being added to the drink drivers rehabilitation course as part of a new initiative.

The drink drivers rehabilitation course forms part of the sentencing exercise for convicted drink drivers.

The drink drivers rehabilitation course was originally implemented to educate first time offenders of the impact that drink driving has on themselves and other road users.

The course is normally offered to first time drink driving offenders in exchange for a shorter ban.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has stated that around 1,000 motorists convicted of drink driving will attend the joint courses.

The thinking behind the new course is based on research that shows that around 20% of drivers convicted for drug driving had previous convictions for drink driving.

Road safety minister Andrew Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and have introduced tougher penalties for drink and drug-driving to make them even safer.

“Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs can have catastrophic results, for drivers and passengers and can ruin families’ lives.

“Educating offenders of the dangers of drug-driving will help prevent it in the future.”

Rob Manfield, the current chairman of the Association of Drink Drive Approved Providers of Training, stated: “This pilot provides a great opportunity to intervene and educate drink-drivers, so when they get their licence back they will have a much greater knowledge of the risks both drink and drugs pose to themselves and other road users.”

It is interesting to note that, according to the DfT, since the introduction of the new drug driving laws in 2015, there have been around 7,000 drivers banned for drug driving offences. In 2014, this figure was much lower at 879.

The drug driving portion of the rehabilitation course will run until the end of 2017.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “Historically, police have found it difficult to determine whether people are under the influence of drugs whilst driving, but with around one in 12 adults taking illegal drugs each year – rising to one in five for those under 25 – it is likely to be a significant factor in death and injury on the roads.

“It is also known that drink and drugs are often found together. The question is whether an educational course will be enough to alert offenders to the risks they are taking and change their behaviour.”



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