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Crackdown on drug driving
POLICE are cracking down on drug driving in the town in a bid to make the roads safer.
PC Andy Taylor heads is part of the North West Motorway Police Group for Cheshire Police.
He says drug driving is a growing problem because it is not seen to be as dangerous as drink driving.
“The main thing is education.
“It’s scary that we can go to a school and ask children if they would get into a car with someone who has drunk four pints of lager, and they say ‘no’.
“When you ask if they would with someone who has been smoking cannabis, you get ‘yeah, if I know them’.
Between January and June this year in Cheshire, 62 drivers were stopped on suspicion of drug driving.
Cannabis remains the most common problem for police to deal with.
“Cannanis will have an effect on driving but there are certain users who would not see taking cannabis while driving as an issue,” said PC Taylor.
“Cannabis will effect your ability to concentrate on more than one thing and when you are driving that might not be the most significant thing to keep you safe.
“I’ve seen people who’ve taken cannabis and don’t notice a police car behind them with lights and sirens on.”
But while police have breathalysers to test for alchol consumption, there is no technology to quickly identify if a driver has taken drugs.
Instead 400 officers in the area are trained to use a series of tests that check for the effects of drugs.
“If you have taken an illegal drug you need to understand the consequences of your actions if you then decide to drive,” added PC Taylor.
Police do a five point test to exam drug drivers.
1 - A pupil examination. Many drugs will cause the pupils to shrink or expand.
2 - Romberg balance test. Put feet together and close eyes before counting to 30. Signs include counting too fast or too slow, or drowsiness occurs leading to a nodding head or slouching.
3 - Walking test. Nine steps heel to toe in a straight line. On the ninth step, turn without stopping and walk back in the same fashion. People often need to use their arms or fall offline.
4 - One-leg stand. Close eyes and count upwards in 1s from 1001 for 30 seconds, while standing on one leg. People who have taken ecstasy can fall over, while cannabis users fail to count properly.
5 - Finger and nose test. Leaning back, place the tip of a finger on the tip of your nose. Many people miss, or do it too quickly, poking themselves in the face.
Police assess whether someone has performed well or poorly. Poor performance means being arrested and blood tested.