Drugged drivers

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reohn2
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Drugged drivers

Postby reohn2 » 24 Nov 2015, 8:57am

An article on local TV news last night featured a story about Cheshire police having got new drugs detecting equipment which tests a saliva samples by the roadside.
The officer they spoke to said their detection and conviction rate for drugged driving has rocketed 600%,it didn't give any numbers,but the officer said in some areas of Cheshire one in every two cars stopped the driver was using illegal drugs whilst driving.
Drugged driving is a worrying trend but I'd no idea it was so common but I s'pose it explains some of the goonatics I come across with monotonous regularity :? .
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iviehoff
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby iviehoff » 24 Nov 2015, 9:15am

I don't think there is a basis in the information given for saying "so common". I expect the police don't stop drivers unless they have good reason for suspicion, and the numbers stopped could be quite small. But clearly without easy tests it was probably much overlooked before and certain people probably got used to getting away with it.

PH
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby PH » 24 Nov 2015, 9:20am

reohn2 wrote:it didn't give any numbers,but the officer said in some areas of Cheshire one in every two cars stopped the driver was using illegal drugs whilst driving.

Incomplete data, not enough to reach this conclusion
I'd no idea it was so common

To make any sense of the statistic, we'd need to know how many cars were stopped and if there was reason for stopping them. If you stopped every car leaving a pub car park that was weaving all over the road, the results wouldn't lead me to conclude that drunk driving was common.
I'm not saying you're wrong, in recent months I've seen the debris from the latest balloon and canister activity in plenty of rural laybys, though I don't know if this is the sort of drug use being talked about or if it is detrimental to driving (I understand the effect is short lived)

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Si
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby Si » 24 Nov 2015, 9:40am

During the summer, when people are driving around with windows open, I expect to be passed by a couple of cars per journey with a thick miasma of weed issuing forth, some times more often. That's across brum city centre - so probably quite different to some areas, however I would say that it represents a much too common occurrence.

reohn2
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby reohn2 » 24 Nov 2015, 9:48am

iviehoff wrote:I don't think there is a basis in the information given for saying "so common". I expect the police don't stop drivers unless they have good reason for suspicion, and the numbers stopped could be quite small. But clearly without easy tests it was probably much overlooked before and certain people probably got used to getting away with it.


600% is a big jump and amounts to a lot of drivers if say 2% of drivers were found offending previously without the ability of roadside detection.
The officer did say in certain areas one in two(50%) of drivers stopped were found to be offending,she didn't say which areas though,so that could mean any type of area.
But my senses begin to ask 'where do people go for a good time?' and comes up with the answer 'town and cities',though I'm only speculating so could be wrong.
Another point sprung to mind whilst watching the report,someone who is slightly over the drink drive limit say two and half pints,whilst deemed breaking the law is a world away from someone who has downed 4 pints and a few shorts.
The drugged driver has an amount of any drug in their system,which could range from a mild form of pot,to skunk weed,to amphetamines,heroin,cocaine,you name it,or a combination of any and more than likely including alcohol.
Indeed the driver they'd stopped in the report had cocaine and marijuana in his system,and claimed(with his face obscured)that he felt he was quite capable of driver and perceiving hazards,speeds and distances,but then he say that wouldn't he :?
The other thing is,illegality of the drugs aside,how much is too much of any given drug?
Which leads to another issue of legal and prescription drugs ie;Antidepressants,or any drugs that dull the senses,cold remedies such as Night Nurse even,it's a can of worms.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Nov 2015, 10:09am

The earlier posters are right, it might be 50% of very few stops in an area known for a major drug problem. Move into another neighborhood and no drug use detected. Figures such as these make for good copy but useless for working out what is happening.

I remember years ago I was waiting in a barber's for the guy ahead of me to be finished. I started listening to the guy talk. He turned out to be top brass in the large local station. He told the barber about the new speed cameras put up, the first in the town. First weekend they got 2000 speeding motorists. A huge figure but was it a high percentage? What if 20000 vehicles went through with just 2000 speeding? What if only 4000 went through? Different levels of offending but the same figure which sounds high. Half the information = half the picture. Could turn a serious problem into a smaller one with the full info.

reohn2
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby reohn2 » 24 Nov 2015, 10:40am

Tangled Metal wrote:The earlier posters are right, it might be 50% of very few stops in an area known for a major drug problem. Move into another neighborhood and no drug use detected. Figures such as these make for good copy but useless for working out what is happening.

I remember years ago I was waiting in a barber's for the guy ahead of me to be finished. I started listening to the guy talk. He turned out to be top brass in the large local station. He told the barber about the new speed cameras put up, the first in the town. First weekend they got 2000 speeding motorists. A huge figure but was it a high percentage? What if 20000 vehicles went through with just 2000 speeding? What if only 4000 went through? Different levels of offending but the same figure which sounds high. Half the information = half the picture. Could turn a serious problem into a smaller one with the full info.


What if those 2000 speeding motorists weren't caught before?
What if after being caught they were less likely to re-offend?
What if once word got around speed calmed on that stretch of road?
It's about this point that I'm likely to say fixed cameras only work for a short stretch of road and so are extremely limited in their effectiveness,because they're fixed and after a short while everyone,local that is,knows when and where to slow down.
If you want to catch the real speeders you would position a mobile speed gun/camera either side of the fixed camera position and at random times in an unmarked car or indeed on any stretch of road that's having problems regularly.What seems to happen ATM,is that if there's no or few crashes nothing will be done even if the limit is being abused regularly.
Can I also add that IMO drivers should be left in doubt what the speed limit is on any given stretch of road they drive on,as it is there's certain grey areas,ie;if there are lamposts and no roundels a driver must assume a 30mph limit but occasionally I get caught out when coming out of a higher speed limit area,and I count myself as quite observant when driving.I also find roundels particularly the smaller ones but also the larger one too,are either not cleaned or are obscured by vegetation,etc.
I'm always impressed when driving in France as to being left in no doubt what the limit is,due to sufficient some might say over sufficient signage,but I'd have no excuses for breaking the limit.

That said,I seems to me the best way to remove dangerous drivers is to target them but don't give them any inclination they're being targeted.
The words 'surprise attack' springs readily to mind.
Of course motorists will claim there to be a war on them,not being able to 'get away with anything' or the authorities 'not playing fair'.
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iviehoff
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby iviehoff » 24 Nov 2015, 11:34am

reohn2 wrote:
iviehoff wrote:I don't think there is a basis in the information given for saying "so common". I expect the police don't stop drivers unless they have good reason for suspicion, and the numbers stopped could be quite small. But clearly without easy tests it was probably much overlooked before and certain people probably got used to getting away with it.

600% is a big jump and amounts to a lot of drivers if say 2% of drivers were found offending previously without the ability of roadside detection.
The officer did say in certain areas one in two(50%) of drivers stopped were found to be offending,

A 600% increase in 0.0000000000001% is 0.0000000000007%.
Half of drivers stopped, but that would be consistent with one of the two drivers that they stopped. In fact from a high percentage rate of detection, one tends to suspect that they are missing most of them - you'd probably get more if you stopped a lot and only found a small proportion were offending. But such untargeted stopping tends to be deprecated these days, and also is expensive.

These are obviously extreme examples, but demonstrate that, on the information provided, we cannot conclude that drug-driving is common. It might be, but the information supplied does not justify such a conclusion.

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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby PH » 24 Nov 2015, 11:41am

I don't think anyone is arguing that drug use while driving is a bad thing and tools to catch more of the offenders or even better discourage them from offending is a good thing. But statistics are what they are and the data is as I said incomplete, It's in the police interest to publicise the effectiveness of any new tool and local news reporting isn’t always as objective as one might like, so there isn't anything there to come to any conclusion about how common it is. It’s missing some really basic numbers which they must have, how many drivers were stopped and what percentage of those in that location was that, then how many of them tested positive. You saw the report and I didn’t so maybe there’s more to it than in your post, it leaves me pleased that more can be detected, but still with no idea how common it is.

beardy
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby beardy » 24 Nov 2015, 11:46am

Those who are on the legal pharmaceutical drugs could be just as dangerous and possibly more numerous than those on the illegal drugs.

Just as tired drivers are possibly a greater threat than drunk drivers.

The figures say more about detection than danger.

mrjemm
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby mrjemm » 24 Nov 2015, 12:43pm

beardy wrote:Those who are on the legal pharmaceutical drugs could be just as dangerous and possibly more numerous than those on the illegal drugs.

Just as tired drivers are possibly a greater threat than drunk drivers.

The figures say more about detection than danger.


... :?

Kill someone with a handgun (illegal) or a hand-drill (legal) and they're both just as dead. If something detects the illegal one, great. If someone gets arrested for carrying said illegal one, great.

If someone stops a drunk-driver before he kills somebody, great, even if there are many more being killed in other ways, it makes it no less a good thing.

Same argument as if someone has a more fuel efficient car/if a country uses cleaner energy/if a govt is not committing genocide in the Middle East, great, however badly another is behaving. Be nice to stop the other ones too of course, but... Some fuel/one/many has/ve been saved, which is better than none.

beardy
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby beardy » 24 Nov 2015, 12:55pm

I wasnt suggesting that we diminish the detection and punishment of drunken drivers. This detection and punishment* has bought the numbers down considerably. Now we have purchased the technology to extend quick, easy detection to illegal drugs, we will see an increase in detection followed by a decrease in use.

The bad driving that people observe on the roads could be due to legal drugs as much as illegal drugs.
With very little likely to be done about that in the near future.

Tacascarow
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby Tacascarow » 24 Nov 2015, 1:31pm

reohn2 wrote:An article on local TV news last night featured a story about Cheshire police having got new drugs detecting equipment which tests a saliva samples by the roadside.
The officer they spoke to said their detection and conviction rate for drugged driving has rocketed 600%,it didn't give any numbers,but the officer said in some areas of Cheshire one in every two cars stopped the driver was using illegal drugs whilst driving.
Drugged driving is a worrying trend but I'd no idea it was so common but I s'pose it explains some of the goonatics I come across with monotonous regularity :? .

Either your wording or the articles is slightly misleading.
It says 'in some areas of Cheshire one in every two cars stopped the driver was using illegal drugs whilst driving'
I have no doubt some drivers do use drugs whilst driving but the majority will have used them previously & have traces still in their system.
If you have a few glasses of wine or beer of an evening & drive to work the following morning you will have traces of alcohol in your system that can be detected by conventional means.
That doesn't mean you have been drinking whilst driving.
& this doesn't mean those tested where under the influence.
All it means is traces of a drug was found in their saliva.

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Mick F
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby Mick F » 24 Nov 2015, 3:24pm

I don't think I could drive after taking drugs, it's bad enough after six pints. :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Drugged drivers

Postby Phil Fouracre » 24 Nov 2015, 5:45pm

What about when you cycle? :-)
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