Four drivers a day convicted of drug driving

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A new law introduced in 2015 makes it illegal to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified limits, including eight illegal drugs and nine prescription drugs. If caught, drivers can lose their licence for at least a year, be fined up to £5,000 or even end up in prison.

Police forces also now have access to improved screening equipment that can be used at the roadside to test suspected drug drivers for cannabis and cocaine. They can also test for other drugs such as ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at a police station with a blood test, even if a driver passes the roadside check.

As a result, drug drivers are now just as likely to be found guilty as those who drink and drive. The conviction rate for drug-driving offences stands at 98% -- around the same as for drink driving, the Department for Transport said.

In 2015, nearly 1,500 drivers were convicted of drug-driving offences.

Before the new law came into force, police had to gather evidence that a driver was impaired, before being able to take a blood or urine sample at a station.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for roads policing, said: "Targeted legislation against drug driving in March 2015 has made it much easier for police to consistently identify those driving under the influence of drugs. This change in law has enabled us to prosecute thousands more dangerous drivers who may have previously escaped detection yet still presented a very serious threat to other road users.

"Far too many people still attempt to drive under the influence of drugs. We are better prepared to catch them than ever before and will ensure that they face the full penalty of law."

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