7,123 Caught Drink-Driving over Xmas and New Year

By Kevin | 22nd January 2013 | Category: Road Safety | Leave a comment

Santa-Drinking

ENGLAND AND WALES FIGURES RELEASED

Only one thing to say really: “Are you lot stupid?”

The Association of Chief Police Officers statistics revealed that during the month of December 7,123 drivers were caught risking not only their lives but those of others by driving over the limit across England and Wales. The only good-ish news about this is that it hasn’t increased from the previous year, but it’s still 7,123 too many.

Obviously there are a lot more police officers about during the month of drink-driving crackdown, and road safety charity Brake welcomed this increased activity as an important deterrent to potentially deadly law-breaking; a fact borne out by an increase in the number of breath tests to 175,000 from 157,000. (So is this a good fact or not?)

But it should be noted that one of the major focuses of the campaign was aimed at young drivers, who are more likely to fail a breath test. During this Xmas period, 5.27% of under-25s stopped by police failed or refused a breath test compared to 3.39% of drivers aged 25+. And that doesn’t the 360 “Field Impairment Tests” for drug driving, with 21% of these resulting in arrest.

Brake praised the police for adhering to the campaign and for their law-enforcing actions, but let’s be honest here: YOU SHOULD NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE. How many times should we have to say it? And should it be just down to the police to enforce it; after all they are facing cut-backs of potentially disastrous proportions. This is why Brake is urging the government to give greater priority to traffic policing and to stem damaging reductions in this vital area of frontline policing.

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.”

So, as you can see, Brake are also pushing their “Not a Drop, Not a Drag” campaign that calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg, given evidence that lower limits mean fewer devastating casualties

Readers of this blog know exactly how I feel about drink-driving so I don’t need to go on about it because not drinking (or taking drugs) before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle (or making sure that a previous night’s excesses are an effect on ability) is quite simply common sense.

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