Drink-drive figures fall after police’s winter campaign

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HUNDREDS of motorists were breathalysed by police during the festive season - but only 29 of them were caught drink-driving.

During the month long Winter Safe Driving campaign, which ran from December 1 to January 1, a total of 3,404 roadside drink drive tests were carried out - an increase of 193 per cent compared to the previous year.

However the number of people arrested was 27.5 per cent less compared to last year, with a total of 29 people giving positive breath tests, or failing to provide a sample. During the 2009 campaign 40 people were arrested.

Figures from the 2010 campaign also show that nine of the 29 people found to be drink-driving were arrested following a crash.

The number of drivers under the age of 25 who were arrested was higher than for those aged over 25.

Figures show that out of the 507 motorists under the age of 25 breathalysed, nine of them (1.78 per cent) proved positive.

This figure compares to 20 drivers aged 25 and over being arrested (0.69 per cent) for providing positive breath tests out of 2,897 who were tested.

Insp Robin Clifton from the Warwickshire Police Operational Task Force said: “The proactive nature of the winter driving campaign this year saw an increase in the number of motorists being stopped.

“On speaking to the driver of the vehicle police officers also undertook road side breath tests if they suspected the driver had been drinking, or was driving under the influence of alcohol.

“A significant number of the positive breath tests took place the morning after the person behind the wheel had been drinking the previous evening, with high alcohol levels still being present in their system several hours later.

“The over all figures, showing a decrease on results from previous years are encouraging.

“But the higher proportion of young people who still drink and drive is disappointing and is an obvious area where further education is needed.”