As national drink and drug drive figures are released this week, the Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is reporting a drop in those people locally that provided a positive breath test.
Over the month of June those testing positive from roadside stop checks has fallen from 18% in June 2011 to 8% in June 2012 and 7% in June 2013, which supports the national downward trend.
The Safer Roads Partnership, West Mercia Police, Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police and Fire & Rescue Services all teamed up over June to warn people of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
During the summer drink and drug drive offences typically increase. To combat this, a campaign was launched to remind people of the risks of mixing drinking or drug use with driving. Enforcement of these offences over June was a key priority for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police and roadside checks were carried out at all times of the day and night and on all types of road.
Over the past three years, 146 people have been killed or seriously injured in Warwickshire and West Mercia as a result of collisions involving drink or drugs. Of particular concern is those motorists aged between 17 and 30; over 40% of drivers involved in collisions causing death or serious injury involving drink or drugs were aged 17-30 and just over 80% were male.
Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership said: “Overall Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police conducted 2,874 breath tests throughout June; this was a big increase on previous years and shows both forces’ commitment to tackling this problem to bring down the number of positive tests even further. It’s encouraging that the percentage of those testing positive for drink or drugs is steadily falling but there is still work to be done. Further analysis is being done on the data we have collected to see what areas need to be focused on. Our message is simple and continues to be ‘Don’t drink and drive – it’s not worth the risk.’”
Supt Lee Davenport, Head of the Force Operations Department, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for both forces and our recent enforcement activity over these past few weeks does seem to show that the message is getting across. However, despite our many warnings about not driving if you’ve had a drink, 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. Anyone who drives after they have been drinking is gambling not only with their own lives, but also with the lives of their passengers and the lives of other road users. Enforcing the drink driving law is a year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week activity for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police and will continue to be a priority throughout the rest of 2013.”