A new study found that nearly one million drivers in Britain have driven while high in the past year. In a survey of 1,000 drivers from the Brake charity and Direct Line, 3% of people admitted to using some form of illicit drugs while driving.
When that is scaled up to all of Britain it means around 900,000 drivers were high on the roads last year.
The survey also found one in 10 people had been inside a vehicle driven by someone under the influence of drugs. A further 29% said they would hesitate to intervene if a friend planned on taking drugs and driving.
This means nearly every driver in Britain has been or will be within feet of someone driving while on drugs at least once.
To help prevent people from using drugs and getting behind the wheel, ministers have outlined a new system similar to the one used to control drinking and driving. Anyone who has more than trace amounts of a drug in their system caught driving could face severe penalties. Each drug has its own limits which reflect how the drug affects users. Exceptions would also be made for people with a valid prescription that may have trace amounts of their prescription in their system.
To help further crack down on the large number of drug using drivers, police have a number of drug tests. Cannabis and cocaine can be tested for at the roadside while other drugs can be tested for at the police station.
People caught driving under the influence of drugs could face up to six months in prison, a £5,000 find and a 12 month driving ban.
Deputy Chief of Brake, Julie Townsend said, "Drug-driving is a menace that causes absolute devastation to families and communities, and ends too many lives too soon.
"We all need to stand up and fight to end it. Our message to everyone is never to underestimate the effects of illegal drugs on driving."
To learn more about drugs check out the Life Works Drugs Knowledge Centre.