Drivers realising that drink and drug driving is not worth the risk

PUBLISHED February 3, 2014

National results of the ACPO Christmas drink and drug driving campaign show that, though testing has gone up, the number of those refusing tests or giving a positive or failed reading is going down.

The campaign, which ran in forces within England, Wales and Northern Ireland from November 29, 2013 to January 1, 2014 resulted in 191,040 breath tests being administered, up from 175,831 in 2012. Of those, 6,550 tests were either positive, failed or refused - down from 2012's figure of 7,123, a reduction of around eight per cent.

Of those refusing tests, or registering a positive or failed reading, 1,709 were tested following a collision, while 4,841 were tested in circumstances not involving a collision.

Of those registering a positive or failed reading or refusing to provide a specimen for analysis, 1,675 were under 25 and 4,482 were 25 years old or over.

In addition, 513 Field Impairment Tests (FIT) were conducted, of which 143 resulted in an arrest.

National policing lead for roads policing, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, said: "I am very pleased to see that the anti-drink and drug driving message we relentlessly put out, year in, year out, got through to a significant number of people during Christmas 2013 - and according to the results of national drink-drive operations, fewer and fewer are taking that most deadly of risks.

"It is particularly gratifying to see a real-terms reduction even though testing has been increased.

"Our campaign this year was engaged with wholeheartedly by forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and their vigilance has paid dividends.

"We owe it to the families of those who were killed or injured by drivers under the influence of drink or drugs to ensure that their suffering is not in vain - that drivers heed our warnings that if you choose to get in a car and drive while incapable, you will be spotted, you will be pulled over, you will be tested and, when you fail that test, you will face justice.

"I believe we are moving in the right direction in that regard - the last three years have shown a slow but steady fall in the number of drivers taking the risk of driving under the influence, and it is our goal to accelerate that decrease and maintain its momentum in the weeks, months and years ahead."