Statistics from the Association of Chief Police Officers reveal 7,123 drivers were caught risking lives by driving over the limit during December across England and Wales, approximately the same as the number as last year. Significantly more drivers were breath tested than in 2011: 175,000, compared to 157,000 last year.
During the campaign there were also 360 Field Impairment Tests for drug driving, with 21% of these resulting in arrest.
Brake, the road safety charity, has praised police but warned that severe cut-backs put this work in jeopardy. Brake is urging the government to give greater priority to traffic policing and stem reductions in this area of frontline policing. Brake is also renewing calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg, given evidence that lower limits mean fewer devastating casualties.
Brake is also appealing to drivers everywhere to make a new year’s resolution to never drive after drinking any alcohol or taking any drugs – not a drop, not a drag.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “It’s shocking so many drivers are willing to put themselves and others in such great danger by drinking and driving over the festive period – many of them young and inexperienced. The police do an incredible job taking these risky drivers off our roads and deterring would-be offenders from taking chances with people’s lives. This work results in fewer people needlessly losing lives or suffering appalling injuries, and fewer families dealing with the terrible aftermath of a crash. But this work is in jeopardy, and it’s desperately important the government acts now to stem potentially catastrophic cut-backs in roads policing, as well as adopting a zero tolerance drink drive limit. We need to send a clear message that it should be none for the road, and drink driving will not be tolerated.
“We are also urging drivers of all ages to make a positive new year’s resolution that’s about protecting yourself and others on the roads. Pledge to not drink any alcohol, or take any drugs, before driving: not a drop, not a drag.”