Drink driving detection rates rise say police

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The Independent Online

The percentage of motorists caught drink-driving on UK roads rose this year, new police figures have revealed.

Officers stopped and breath tested 88,629 drivers during crackdown in England, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout June, the Association of Chief Police officers (Acpo) said.

Of those, 5,373 (6.06%) tested positive, refused or failed a breath test, compared to 5.6% during the same period last year.

The figures revealed that 7.40% of drivers under the age of 25 were breaking the drink-drive law when they were pulled over, while 5.67% of motorists over 25 were offenders.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley, Acpo's lead officer on roads policing, said: "It is worrying that younger drivers continue to drink and drive and we will be redoubling our efforts to address this unacceptable behaviour."

During the month long targeted drink and drug driving campaign, police also ramped up testing for drivers under the influence of drugs, conducting 30% more field impairment tests than in 2010.

The crackdown resulted in 122 out of 337 motorists (36.20%) being arrested.

Chief Constable Gormley added: "We have increased the number of tests we conducted to detect people driving under the influence of drugs and this is an area where we are working with Government to improve our capabilities through reformed legislation and procedures.

"We view this as an important area for casualty reduction and will continue to pursue motorists who drive whilst under the influence of drugs, endangering their fellow road users."

Automobile Association president Edmund King said: "We are surprised and disappointed that there has been an increase in the proportion of positive breath tests.

"It is particularly worrying that the proportion of younger drivers over the limit has increased by 15% since last year."

He went on: "We thought there should have been a reduction in the proportion over the limit as our AA/Populus polling shows that 60% of drivers have cut back on journeys and of the 45% cutting back on expenditure more than half of them have cut back on eating out.

"It appears that there is still a hardcore of drivers willing to risk life, limb and their licence by continuing to drink-drive.

"We are pleased that the police have targeted more drug-drivers but the 100% increase in arrests for drug-driving shows that too many motorists are taking a drug-induced trip rather than a safe trip."

PA