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Undertake a drug driving awareness campaign across Dorset

Driving after taking drugs can be dangerous and, along with drink driving, this has been identified as one of the ‘fatal five’ factors behind road traffic collisions and the resulting serious injuries and fatalities.

While there has long been an impetus to highlight the risks associated with alcohol and driving, in recent years drug driving has become more prevalent.

Like alcohol, drugs can impair an individual’s ability to drive safely and it is illegal to drive if you are unfit to do so through the use of drugs – either legal or illegal. It is also an offence to drive with certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood even where this may not affect driving behaviour.

Education and enforcement by the police and partners now very much focuses on drink and drug driving and for that reason the PCC has supported activity across his term of office to highlight the dangers of drug driving.

Activity has traditionally focused on the annual summer and winter drink and drug drive campaigns, supported by the OPCC, and regularly updating on the numbers of people arrested and charged to reinforce messages and reassure the public on action being taken.

Social media allows for regular and ongoing messaging to the public and is coupled with direct face-to-face engagement – such as attendance at events like the regular summer car and bike gatherings at Poole Quay.

In 2017, Dorset Police also featured prominently in the ‘Gordon Ramsey on Cocaine’ documentary looking at the impact of the international cocaine industry and how law enforcement is tackling the issue.

As part of the documentary the chef was able to join officers on patrol for a special operation to tackle the issue of drug driving back – and witnessed firsthand the arrest of two drivers who tested positive at the roadside for having cocaine in their system.

Not only was this an excellent opportunity to raise awareness to a national audience of the prevalence and risks associated with drug driving, it also showcased the excellent work taking place locally to tackle this aspect of road safety despite ongoing resource and demand pressures faced by the Force

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