Drug Driving – the Next Taboo

Christmas is a time for celebration. It is the one time of year when all your friends and family are gathered round to make merry and enjoy the festive cheer. During the Christmas holidays many people take the opportunity to attend parties at clubs and bars throughout the UK. Letting your hair down can mean; a few festive glasses of wine, a sherry under the mistletoe or smoking cannabis. Cannabis use is high in the UK, with an estimated 3,364,000 people using the drug.

According to recent government statistics a third of people have taken drugs at one point in their lives and 10% have tried them in the past year. Whilst the use of non prescription drugs is illegal in the UK, for many people smoking a joint is as natural as having a pint of beer. Unfortunately, a large proportion of drug users still drive after taking drugs, as they don’t appreciate the danger they pose. Drink driving, whilst still an issue in the UK, is becoming a taboo subject among those who partake in a tipple. However, because drug use is against the law, many people who use drugs are unaware of, or not concerned about the risks of drug driving cbd and chylothorax in cats.

Drug use is not discussed openly and therefore people choosing to take drugs are not advised by others to avoid driving. Many drug users also still believe that they will not be tested for drugs if stopped by the police. In fact new police powers have been introduced to allow police to carry out road side testing. This will improve the powers of arrest and will provide the police with more evidence with which to prosecute.

French scientists have recently announced that driving under the influence of cannabis can double your chances of causing a fatal car accident. Researchers from the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research (INRETS) carried out a study of 10,748 drivers who were involved in fatal car accidents between 2001 and 2003. 7 percent of the drivers tested positive for cannabis and 21.4 percent for alcohol use.

Research carried out by Glasgow university, has shown that people who attend night clubs are in the high risk category for drug driving. Within this group people who take drugs and who can drive are a higher risk still. With Christmas approaching the risks taken by young clubbers will increase. With spirits high, work certainly not on the agenda and an hour queue for a taxi, some young people might be tempted to take to the road after a big night out. The study showed that while the car accidents caused by cannabis users were not as severe as those caused by users of ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamine or LSD, they occurred much more frequently.

Drug users who choose to drive under the influence are risking many lives. Getting behind the wheel after using cannabis is potentially as risky as drink driving and many people are likely to be injured or killed as a result. Many people are involved in road traffic accidents every year in the UK and many of those accidents are the result of negligence. Drug driving is a type of negligence as the person who is under the influence should not have been driving and is therefore negligent.

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