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Christmas drink drivers increase, but fewer motorists tested
3:30pm Saturday 25th January 2014 in Devon
Figures have been released for Devon and Cornwall Police’s Christmas drink driving campaign 2013, with a higher percentage of drivers testing positive, but 808 fewer drivers tested.
Police officers administered a total of 1,326 breath tests of which 167 were positive, refused or failed to provide. This represents 12.5 per cent of the total.
Last year the figures were 252 positive, refused or failed to provide from a total of 2,134 or 11.8 per cent of the total.
The total number of positive breath tests following a collision was lower this year at 21 or 5.8 per cent of the total (361) compared to 12.3% (72 out of 585) last year.
Examples which stood out during the campaign include one woman in Cornwall aged 36, who was over four times the legal limit (146mg) at 6:30pm and a 31 year-old man that provided a reading at 2pm of 121mg (3½ times the limit).
In Devon, a 28-year-old woman was over four times the limit (148mg) at 4:30pm and a man who was again over four times the limit (145mg) at 11:00am.
In Plymouth, two readings of over 3½ times the legal limit (both 121mg) were provided, one by a 33 year-old woman and one by a 35 year-old man during the early evenings.
Inspector Richard Pryce, Roads Policing Inspector, said: “The number of breath tests undertaken is down on last year together with the number of positive tests following collisions. The overall percentage of positive tests is slightly higher which is disappointing. The positive drink driving figure is still too high.
“Nationally and locally a lot of work is being done to educate people about the risks and dangers regarding drink driving and the messages are out there for all to see.
“Despite this and the threat of punitive measures such as losing one’s licence, job, liberty or worse, it is disappointing that, when we carry out a sustained period of analysis such as this, that it reveals such a reckless approach from some people regarding their safety and the safety of their fellow road users.
“As always, catching drink drivers is a year-round priority for us and we will continue to crack down on drink and drug driving to actively contribute to making our roads safer.
“Some of the detection results we had are staggering. I find it utterly incredible that some individuals will drive after drinking so much as to be three or four times the drink drive limit. They show scant regard for the lives of other people on the road. For some, clearly the messages are not getting through. It may be that for these, only the sanction of the law in a court will make them realise.”