The number of arrests for drug-driving has soared by 800 per cent in the last year, following the introduction of new government laws. A roadside swab test, designed to catch drug drivers, was introduced alongside the laws on March 2nd last year and it is now illegal to drive with any one of 17 types of drugs in the blood (above specified limits). Motorists who take the wheel after using any of the substances now face a criminal record, the loss of their licence for at least a year, as well as a potentially unlimited fine.æ It remains an offence to drive whilst impaired by any substance. The Government is planning to launch a new marketing campaign to promote the first anniversary of the laws, in order to emphasise the risks drivers take when drug-driving.æ It is now far more likely that drug-drivers will be caught at the roadside and charged. Provisional figures taken from Cheshire Police showed that officers arrested eight times as many drug drivers since the introduction of the laws.æ Over 530 arrests have taken place since March 2015, a huge increase over just 70 the previous year. An additional £1 million in funding has been given to police forces to help them train officers and pay for sample analysis and new drug screening equipment. Roads Minister, Andrew Jones said: "Thanks to our tougher law, police are catching and convicting more dangerous drivers. "The Government will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with police as they work tirelessly to protect the public while recognising enforcement alone is not the answer. We need to educate and influence behaviour change which is why we are pushing on with our Think! campaign, which has helped change attitudes towards drink-driving and ultimately save lives." Cheshire Police, Chief Constable, Simon Byrne said: "Cheshire Police's figures speak for themselves. We have taken a no nonsense approach to using this new legislation as part of our wider work to target criminals who use our road networks. "Under the new drug-driving laws once suspects are charged, 98% have been convicted - compared to 80% for the old offence." During this year's Christmas drink and drug-drive campaign, 1,888 random drug screenings were carried out across England and Wales.æ Alarmingly, nearly 50 per cent of them tested positive.