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Drink Drivers more likely to be caught now than ever

January 28, 2009

More than 9,000 drivers have been arrested by police as part of a nationwide police operation to tackle the menace of drink and drug driving over the festive period.

The operation saw 43 forces breath test 183,397 drivers between 1 December 2008 and 1 January 2009, an increase of more than 25,000 from the 2007 campaign.

Despite the large increase in drivers breath tested by police, the percentage of drivers who tested positive remained largely static at 4.99%. The number of under 25s testing positive increased to 5.62%.

ACPO lead for Roads Policing and Chief Constable Gwent Police, Mick Giannasi, said:

“This year we saw forces test more drivers than in previous years. What these figures show is that if you are driving a car while under the influence you are more likely than ever before to be caught and disqualified.

“But the end of this campaign does not signify the end of our campaign on irresponsible drivers. Our efforts to tackle this behaviour continue 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“The percentage of drivers who tested positive, refused or failed to provide following a breath test has remained largely consistent from the 2007 operation which means, unfortunately, that there are still people out there who are not getting the message.

“Drink and drug drive collisions not only devastate the lives of victims and their families, but they also ruin the lives of the offenders. This year’s operation saw more than 27,000 drivers breath tested following a collision. Of these, 7.82% were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence – up from 6.93% in 2007.

“While it is too early to draw firm conclusions, the fact that there were 6% less collisions this year than last year could also indicate a link between increased testing and the risk of death and injury.

“It is clear that some drivers still consider themselves above the law and are prepared to put themselves, and others, at risk. Equally worrying however, is the fact that there remains an unacceptably high percentage of people (28.48%) arrested following a field impairment (drugs) test.

“It is also very disappointing that there is still a significant percentage of young people ignoring the fact that drinking and driving kills. These drivers are more inexperienced and even a small amount of alcohol could increase the likelihood of their being involved in a collision.

“Driving under the influence of any substance, whether it is alcohol or drugs is not acceptable. Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to judge speed and distances, reduce concentration and delay reaction speed.”

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