Slight drop in drink drive figures over Christmas

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AS national drink drive figures are released today (Thursday), the Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is reporting a slight drop in those people that provided a positive breath test following a collision.

In Warwickshire and West Mercia over the Christmas period those testing positive following a collision has fallen from 4% over December 2011 down to 3% over December 2012.

The overall percentage of positive breath tests has also shown a decrease; 163 people either refused to give a test or tested positive for drink or drugs over December 2012, just 4% of those breathalysed in total. This compares to 6% of those tested over the region during the same period in 2011, showing a very encouraging downward trend.

Posters, beermats and other material was targeted at local pubs and clubs throughout the region designed to make people think about the consequences of drink or drug driving. At the heart of the activity was a series of online blogs and videos of five everyday characters who unwittingly take a risk.

The campaign supported the month long winter drink drive campaign that was launched on 1st December by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Figures from the Safer Roads Partnership indicate that, over the past 3 years, 18 people lost their lives in Warwickshire and West Mercia and 171 were seriously injured following collisions where drink ormhra drugs were recorded as a contributory factor.

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, says: “Although the percentage drop isn’t large, it’s encouraging that the number of positive breath tests we are seeing overall and after collisions is steadily reducing however, there are still a significant number of motorists ignoring the simple message that drinking or taking drugs and driving ruins lives. Overall Warwickshire and West Mercia Police conducted 5425 breath tests throughout December; this was a massive increase on previous years (nearly 30% more) and shows commitment from both forces to tackling this problem to bring down the number of positive tests even further. It’s worrying that there are still motorists out there that think they can risk having a drink and driving. Our simple message to them is it’s not worth it - driving after drinking or taking drugs will continue to be a focus over this year to ensure Warwickshire’s and West Mercia’s roads become safer for all”.

Superintendent Lee Davenport of Warwickshire and West Mercia Police comments: “It’s encouraging that the percentage of motorists testing positive is decreasing, showing that the message is getting through. However despite our many warnings over the festive period and throughout the year there are still far too many irresponsible drivers ignoring the devastating consequences that drinking and driving can cause for them, their family, friends and other road users. Our figures show that we are moving in the right direction but enforcing the drink driving law is a year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week activity for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police and will continue to be a priority throughout 2013.”