46 Drug Driving Arrests Made in Joint Initiative

A total of 46 suspected drug drivers were arrested in Sefton by Merseyside police in March as part of a joint initiative with Sefton Council.

Merseyside Police has been working in partnership with the council to tackle the issue of road safety around drug use and carried out a total of 70 drug wipe tests throughout the month, 46 positive tests resulting in arrest .

The cost of the wipes, which are used to detect if a driver is under the influence of controlled drugs, was met by Sefton council as part of the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership.

Throughout the force as a whole 114 people were arrested during March on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

Merseyside Police Inspector Andy Bragg of the Sefton Targeted team said: “These figures show the importance of taking a multi agency approach to tackling road safety, but also the excellent commitment of our officers in removing these drivers from our roads, undoubtedly reducing a significant risk to the public.

“For the past seventeen months our drug wipes have been funded by Sefton Safer Communities Partnership, who continue to support the Targeting Team by purchasing our drug wipes since their introduction in late 2015, with £10,000 being invested so far.”

The funding has so far seen 362 drug wipe tests on the roads in Sefton resulting in 195 arrests based on positive results.

Of those arrested 75% already had a criminal background.

It has already resulted in driving bans totalling 135 years, 36 months in prison sentences and 850 hours in unpaid community work.

Inspector Bragg added: “This proves what a valuable partnership we have with Sefton Council in our drive against people who are prepared to risk driving their vehicles under the influence of drugs.

“To help us recoup or costs we are also applying to the courts for the cost of the drug wipes to be recovered from the offender on conviction.”

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “Through the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership funding was made available for this important piece of partnership working.

“Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause massive consequences on our communities and through this initiative many drivers have been taken off the roads. It is very simple, drugs and driving just don’t mix.”

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