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Christmas drink and drug figures released todayBack

Figures have been released today by the Association of Chief Police Officers on drink and drug drivers over the 2011 Christmas period.

In light of these figures, well known charity Brake has welcomed police efforts to catch drunk and drug drivers over the Christmas period but warns people that even more must be done by the government to decrease these figures even more, and eventually stamp out the problem.

During the month-long Christmas and New Year campaign, 7,100 people were arrested which was up 16 per cent from the same period in 2010. Police used intelligence to focus on certain routes which were previously favoured by drink and drug drivers and acted on information given to them by the public to make the series of arrests.

Findings from December 2011 reveal that although there was an increase in arrests, breath tests were actually down by 8 per cent in comparison to 2010. However, the number of Field Impairment Tests for drug driving increased by more than one third, with 17 per cent of tests resulting in an arrest.

Despite the severe budget cuts which the police have had to face in recent years, Brake has praised their work towards tackling drink and drug driving, but is also urging the government to make it easier to catch these types of criminals.

Brake has suggested that a greater deterrent needs to be put in place to combat against this type of potentially deadly behaviour, to include the following:

  • Introducing roadside drug testing devices
  • Making it illegal to drive with illegal drugs on your person
  • Allowing police the power to carry out random breath-testing and allow far more tests to be carried out through targeted high profile campaigns.
  • Make policing of roads a national policing priority so that greater investment can be made into this area which will hopefully send a clear and direct message to drink and drug drivers.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “That young drivers continue to be the worst offenders is worrying. Our research shows that half of young drivers don’t know how much they can drink and still be under the limit, so the message is not getting through to them.

“This suggests that lack of education and confusion over safe limits in today’s drinking culture of huge glasses and ever changing alcoholic mixes may be a key factor in drink driving, especially for this age group.”

Posted by Leana Kell on 20/01/2012