Warwickshire Police charged 30 people with drink driving during the Over the Limit campaign

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A TOTAL of 1,296 road side breathaliser tests were carried out by officers as part of their annual Christmas drink drive crackdown.

The tests were part of a month long campaign during which police and partners asked motorists to consider if they could be ‘Over the Limit?’ before they get in their car to drive this winter.

“The aim of the campaign is to reduce death and injury on Warwickshire roads caused by drink driving. Often it is an innocent person who is most affected,” said Sgt Kate Jackson.

Forty-nine people were arrested and thirty people were charged with drink driving related offences during the campaign which ran from 1 December 2011 to 1 January 2012. Thirteen more people are currently on police bail pending the results of their blood tests. If positive, they too will be charged with drink driving.

Sgt Kate Jackson said: “Everyone metabolises alcohol differently so the only safe way to know you are not driving under the influence of alcohol is not to drink and drive and make alternative arrangements to get home.

Those charged include a 73 year old man from Derbyshire who was breathalised by officers after a collision in Moors Lane, Rugby on 27 December. He was charged later the same day.

A nineteen year old man from Brownsover in Rugby was arrested early on Christmas morning after providing a positive breath test following a collision in Withybrook Lane, Shilton. He spent the rest of the night in police custody before being charged with drink driving.

A forty-four year old woman from Nuneaton was arrested after officers stopped her car in Whittleford Road, Nuneaton at 8.30pm on 27 December. She provided a road side breath test which was nearly five times the legal limit and was arrested, however she was unable to provide a second breath test at the police station and was charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

All three are scheduled to appear at Nuneaton Magistrates Court on Friday 6 January 2012.

Three of the arrests during the 2011 campaign were as a result of positive breath tests following a road traffic collision.

Speaking about the Over the Limit campaign, Sgt Kate Jackson said “Although the Over the Limit campaign has now finished, Warwickshire Police Officers will be continuing to enforce the message of the dangers of drinking and driving throughout the year.

“We chose to make these checks at various locations around the County and differing times of day because we know that some people drink and drive at lunchtime or drive after drinking heavily the night before.

Some 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.

Those found guilty of drink driving by a Court, could face up to 6 months imprisonment, a fine of up to £5000 and a minimum of 12 months disqualification from driving. Those found guilty of drink driving a second time within ten years will be disqualified for a minimum of 3 years and potentially imprisonment.

These fines and custodial sentences could dramatically change your life and your job prospects.

The www.over-the-limit.co.uk website, is dedicated to raising awareness of the issues around drink driving and tells the stories of five people who are now convicted drink drivers after they were found to be over the limit the morning after a night out or when they had been drinking but did not feel drunk.

“The message is clear - the only safe way to know you are not Over the Limit is not to drink and drive.”