Around 310 people were caught drink driving every day during December.
Now the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents says the figures for the festive campaign carried out in England and Wales showed far too many people were ignoring the safety messages and putting themselves and others at risk.
Duncan Vernon, RoSPA road safety officer, said: ‘Reducing the drink-drive limit from 80mg to 50mg would save around 65 lives and 230 serious injuries on Britain's roads each year. Between 50mg and 80mg you are two to two-and-a-half times more likely to be involved in an accident and six times more likely to be in a fatal crash than with no alcohol in your system. This reduction would give the opportunity for a new education campaign to point out the seriousness of drinking and driving, particularly addressing the worrying problem of the young drivers who apparently have not been getting the message.
‘We would like to see the police given powers to breath test people anywhere and at any time. Drivers who flout the law have to be made to realise that they are likely to be caught and punished. Although there was a slight fall in the percentage of people who tested positive, the reduction is still not good enough when 560 people were killed in drink-drive-related accidents in 2005.'
The campaign, which ran throughout England and Wales for the whole of December, saw 145,867 drivers breath tested - the greatest number to date - of whom 9,658 tested positive (6.6%, down from 6.9% last year).
The total number of breath tests carried out on drivers involved in collisions that resulted in injury for the 2006 period was 12,494 of whom 915 tested positive (7.3%, down from 8.6%).