All 602 drivers pass random breath test

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The Independent Online

Police said today that they were "heartened" after an operation to catch drink-drivers saw more than 600 breath-tested without a single motorist being over the limit.

Officers carried out the roadside screening operation across the Durham force area this week as part of an ongoing safety campaign.

In a three-hour period, 602 drivers were asked to take a voluntary breath test to detect drink or drugs in their system.

All tests were negative.

They were carried out in the morning, aiming to catch out people still over the limit from the night before.

Uniformed officers positioned at lay-bys around the county pulled over motorists at random and invited them to take a breath test.

Acting Chief Inspector Ken Cook, of the force's strategic road policing department, said: "This was a concerted effort by our staff to ensure that motorists are abiding by the legislation.

"The overall aim is to reduce the number of casualties on our roads and I am heartened by the fact that every single one of the tests carried out was negative.

"I hope this is a sign that our strong message with regards to the potential consequences of drink- or drug-driving is being heard by our motoring public."

Despite the apparent low level of drink-driving in the county, the force will carry out similar operations in the coming months.

Mr Cook said: "I have no doubt the overwhelming majority of our motorists and local communities will be reassured by these operations, but there will be no hiding place for those who choose to drive under the influence.

"The safety of everyone using the roads across County Durham and Darlington remains our absolute priority."