Kits to help force tackle drug-driving
Northumbria Police will be patrolling the region's roads in support of a national crackdown on drug-drivers this month.
The force’s Op Dragoon team will be targeting motorists across the region who are flouting the drug-drive laws introduced one year ago.
Those new laws set a legal limit to the amount of certain drugs acceptable in the blood stream, which made it easier for police to charge suspected offenders.
The team will utilise specialist testing kits as it leads the efforts to tackle those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs.
Cannabis and cocaine are the drugs that can be tested for at the roadside, while the evidential laboratory test can identify all the drugs covered by the law including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin.
Motor Patrols Chief Inspector John Heckels, who is also lead of the Op Dragoon team, said: “We are fully supportive of the campaign.
“Our Op Dragoon team has already been recognised nationally for the good work it has been doing in targeting dangerous drivers across the region and putting them before the courts.
“We are again armed with specialist drug testing kits that allow us to swab suspects at the scene and determine whether or not they have taken any of the substances outlined in the new legislation.
“People think they can get away with this type of crime, but that is simply not true.”
Motorists who get behind the wheel after taking illegal drugs face a criminal record, loss of their licence for at least a year and an unlimited fine.
Anyone who suspects someone of drug-driving should contact the Op Dragoon team by calling 101. Remember to always call 999 in an emergency.