Dr Alan Billings, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has welcomed the first results of new testing kits to tackle those who drive while under the influence of drugs that were introduced across the country in March following new legislation.

Dr Billings said: “To date South Yorkshire Police have conducted 118 tests and 61 (52%) have been positive.”

“It is obvious from these results that there is a problem of people driving while under the influence of drugs that is as serious as those driving after drinking. If anyone believes that drugs will not be detected, they are much mistaken.”

The new drug screening kits are similar to ‘breathalysers’ and were introduced following new law that came in on 2 March.

Dr Billings said: “Drivers who use drugs should realise that drugs such as cannabis and cocaine will now be detected at the roadside and prosecutions will follow.”

Only 5% of those stopped on suspicion of drink driving prove positive, but more than half of those stopped for possible drug use are found to be positive.

The Commissioner said: “We are determined in South Yorkshire to take off the roads those who put lives at risk whether through alcohol or drugs.”