Widespread use of 'Drug wipes' by Police leads to a big increase in drug driving arrestsPolice in East Wiltshire have described the number of arrests made in relation to drug driving in the area in recent months as ‘disappointing’. Police are now able to ascertain that a driver is driving under the influence of drugs through the introduction and widespread use of drug wipes.
Since mid-November, at least 10 people have been arrested on suspicion of drug driving in the Marlborough and Devizes areas.
- On 16 November, a 19-year-old man from Hungerford was arrested initially on suspicion of drug driving in London Road, Marlborough after officers stopped a Ford Fiesta Zetec. This offence was later dropped and he was given an adult caution for possession of a class B drug.
- On 11 December, a 17-year-old male from Great Bedwyn was arrested on suspicion of drug driving after officers stopped a vehicle near Marlborough Football club.
- A 19-year-old man from Devizes was arrested on suspicion of drug driving in Marshall Road on 28 December.
- On 4 January, a 34-year-old man from Aldbourne was arrested on suspicion of drink and drug driving, possession of a class A drug and a Volkswagen Golf was seized for having no road tax in Blowhorn Street, Marlborough.
- On 7 January, a 33-year-old man from Devizes was arrested on suspicion of drink and drug driving after a van was seen reversing into a wall in Flax Mill Park, Devizes.
- A 20-year-old man from Marlborough was arrested on suspicion of drug driving in North View Place, Marlborough on 9 January.
- An 18-year-old man from Chiseldon was arrested in Marlborough on 10 January on suspicion of drug driving.
- A 28-year-old man from Trowbridge was arrested on suspicion of drug driving in Bath Road, Marlborough on 22 January.
- An Audi A3 was stopped and recovered in Salisbury Road, Marlborough on 15 February for having no tax. A 28-year-old man from Marlborough was also arrested on suspicion of drug driving.
- A 31-year-old man was arrested in St Mary’s Road, Devizes, on 18 February on suspicion of drug driving and having no insurance. A Citroen Berlingo was seized at the scene.
All those arrested have been released under investigation while enquiries continue. This includes enabling time for blood tests to be carried out which cannot be completed within the 24-hour custody clock.
Sgt Pete Foster said: “Every arrest for drink or drug driving is extremely disappointing. Police forces nationally are constantly highlighting the dangers of drink and drug driving, yet certain individuals continue to think they are above the law and decide to take the risk, thinking they won’t get caught.
"People need to realise the full extent of the dangers that drug driving poses. Think about the impact that your actions could cause and how you would feel if one of your loved ones was injured or worse, killed, by a driver who had taken drugs or been drinking alcohol. Lives can be changed in a matter of seconds due to the mindless actions of others.
“Our officers are always out and about trying to keep our roads safe, and they will stop vehicles if they have suspicions that the driver may be driving illegally.
“We also encourage members of the public who suspect someone may have been drinking or taking illegal drugs prior to getting behind the wheel to contact us immediately.
“Not only is drink or drug driving putting your own life at risk, but also the lives of other drivers, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians. Please think long and hard before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle illegally.”
To report a drug or drink driver, call 101, or if the crime is in progress, call 999 and give as many details as possible including, make and model of vehicle, registration number of possible and direction of travel.