HC Deb 22 January 2001 vol 361 c461W
Mr. Hawkins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in how many road accidents in each of the last three years subsequent analysis revealed that the driver had taken(a) cannabis and (b) other illegal drugs; how many of these accidents resulted in fatalities; and if he will make a statement. [146464]

Mr. Hill

The numbers of cases where samples are taken for analysis for the presence of drugs in drivers involved in road accidents are not recorded centrally.

The Department has undertaken specific research into the incidence of drugs in road accident fatalities. This found that there was a presence of illegal drugs in some 18 per cent. of driver fatalitites of which cannabis accounted for about two thirds. However, traces of cannabis remain in the body for some time after any impairing effect, and in general the presence of drugs is not evidence of impairment or accident causation. The research also showed that about a fifth of drivers killed had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.