More arrests for drug driving than drink driving in Essex
More motorists were arrested on suspicion of drug driving than drink driving in Essex in the first 23 days of December, police figures have revealed.
Officers made 126 drug driving arrests from December 1 to December 23, compared to 119 for drink driving.
A total of 44 drivers have also been arrested for failing to provide a specimen up to December 23.
The drug driving arrests take the 2019 total to 1,796. The total number for 2018 was 1,039 and in 2017 it was 754.
Essex Police is now reinforcing its anti-drug driving campaign message of "Is the high worth the low" on the back of the latest statistics.
MORE: Why is drug-driving rising so fast in Essex?Adam Pipe, head of roads policing, has called for the public's help in sharing the message.
"My officers continue to work to keep people safe on our roads," he said.
"What these arrest numbers emphasise is that drug drivers in Essex are more likely to be arrested than ever before.
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"It seems that people still don't realise that drugs stick around in your system and just because you don't feel stoned it doesn't mean you're not over the drug driving limit.
"And the consequences for drug driving are really serious. You could lose your licence, your job, home or even kill yourself or someone else.
"I need the public's help in sharing this message and our 'Is the high worth the low?' anti-drug driving campaign."
At the launch of Essex Police's Christmas crackdown campaign in partnership with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership on December 11, Mr Pipe said that the force now has 500 officers across the force trained to use drug wipes.
Nicola Foster, chairman of The Safer Essex Roads Partnership, said: "The number of arrests for drug driving is both shocking and saddening.
"Taking drugs and then driving are two things that simply don't mix well. You might feel fine but if you are over the drug drive limit, you are risking your life as well as the lives of others.
"Please don't let your choices hurt someone else."
More information about Essex Police's anti-drug driving campaign can be found on the force's website here.