THOUSANDS of people were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in Lancashire last year, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Following an FOI request, Lancashire Constabulary said dozens of injury collisions took place in 2021, with some fatalities involving drivers under the influence also reported.

According to the data, 2,086 offences relating to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol were reported last year.

Of those offences, 1,475 relate to drink, while 611 offences relate to drink/drugs; although with this data it is possible the same person has been arrested more than once.

The FOI request also revealed how many injury collisions there have been as a result of drink driving in the district.

According to the data, there were 149 collisions that resulted in injury last year with a contributory factor of ‘impaired by excess alcohol’.

Of these 149 collisions, two resulted in fatalities – one of which was a driver and one pedestrian.  

This data doesn’t take into account the number of collisions that took place which did not result in an injury or fatality.

Sgt Steve Burton, of Lancashire Police’s Tactical Operations team, said: “We know the majority of motorists follow the law and drive safely, but there is clearly a minority who believe the law doesn’t apply to them.

“Those people make an active choice when they get behind the wheel, having consumed alcohol or drugs, to put themselves and other road users at risk of serious injury or even death.

“If you plan drink or take drugs, please do not drive. If you’re still tempted, please think about how you’d feel if it was a loved one of yours who had been killed or seriously injured.

“The law is there for a reason. Breaking it is not worth the potential consequences.”

People caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs in Lancashire

Recently (March 23-29), 50 people have been arrested in Lancashire on suspicion of drink or drug-driving.

We have also written about countless people who have been caught driving under the influence.

Robbie Howarth, from Darwen, missed the family reveal of the gender of his unborn child after he started the celebration early.

He was breathalysed and arrested and was told of the gender news by a police officer who relayed a message from his mum.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. He was fined £500 with £85 costs and £50 victim surcharge and banned from driving for 36 months.

Another Oswaldtwistle woman started drinking neat vodka in her lunch hour and crashed into a parked car as she drove home from work.

 Juliet Gorton, who struggled to walk when she got out of her car, gave a breathalyser reading three and a half times the legal limit.

She was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and made subject to a community order with 20 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and six months Alcohol Treatment Requirement. She was banned from driving for 40 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and £128 victim surcharge.

Joshua Whittaker was jailed in March after causing the death of a much-loved lecturer, Anthony Hindle, in 2020.

Whittaker was found to have cocaine in his system and pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and under the influence of a controlled drug.

Whittaker was jailed for 42 months and banned from the roads for five years.

A Longridge woman was banned from driving in January after reversing her car into another vehicle while four times the drink drive limit.

She was disqualified from driving for two and a half years and fined a total of £442.

What are the penalties for drink driving?

You could be sent to prison, banned from driving and face a fine if you’re found guilty of drink-driving.

Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink could land you:

  • 14 years’ imprisonment
  • an unlimited fine
  • a ban from driving for at least 2 years
  • an extended driving test before your licence is returned

What are the penalites for drug driving?

It’s illegal to drive if either:

  • you’re unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs
  • you have certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood (even if they haven’t affected your driving)

If you’re convicted of drug driving you could get:

  • a minimum 1 year driving ban
  • an unlimited fine
  • up to 6 months in prison
  • Both a fine and a prison sentence
  • a criminal record

Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving. This will last for 11 years.

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

If you suspect someone of drink or drug-driving, you can notify police online at, by phone on 101 or by calling 999 in an emergency.