Police call for extra powers to tackle drink-drivers

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The Independent Online

Police chiefs have called for wider powers to tackle drink-drivers after a rise in the number of motorists caught over the limit at Christmas.

Police chiefs have called for wider powers to tackle drink-drivers after a rise in the number of motorists caught over the limit at Christmas.

They want to be allowed to stop motorists suspected of being drunk at the wheel even if the driver has not committed an offence.

They believe the existing law, whereby a driver can only be stopped after an accident or on-road offence, benefits a hardcore who consistently drink-drive.

The percentage of motorists who tested positive for alcohol after a crash during the festive season was 7.18 percent, compared to 6.5 percent the previous year.

Out of 15,064 people tested after a crash, 1.081 were over the limit.

Chaos on the railways was partly to blame for an increase in the number of people drinking and driving, senior police officers said.

Despite a hard-hitting advertising campaign, more motorists were caught driving over the limit than in the previous year.

The RAC warned before Christmas of a danger that inexperienced drivers may abandon the rail network for the road during the festivities.

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