Analysis of Home Office data by the AA, shared with the PA news agency, found 565,440 drivers were successfully prosecuted in 2021, up 22% from 462,817 a year earlier.
That included a 30% spike in convictions for causing death by dangerous or careless driving, while those for speeding – the most common reason for a court appearance – rose 24%.
We are incredibly concerned that drug-driving has reached a new record
Jack Cousens, AA
Successful prosecutions for drug-driving increased by 51% year-on-year, with a 13% uplift in drink-drive convictions.
The overall increase in convictions coincided with a rise in traffic during 2021, after coronavirus lockdowns caused a sharp fall in journeys during the previous year.
AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens said the figures are “a clear and stark warning to drivers that the law will catch you”.
He went on: “Considering police forces are drastically stretched, they are still catching poor drivers in the act.
“We are incredibly concerned that drug-driving has reached a new record.
“Not only does this show that police are doing more roadside drug testing, but worryingly shows that more people are prepared to take an illegal substance before they get behind the wheel.
“While the courts continue to catch up with a backlog of Covid cases, drivers should use this as a timely reminder of the huge responsibility they have to themselves and others when driving.
“All the focus should be on getting from A to B safely without being under the influence or getting distracted.”