A SUMMER drink drive campaign run by Cumbria Constabulary has seen a small increase in the number of mororists caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The annual campaign which ran throughout June saw 1,222 breath tests conducted and 53 people arrested. Of those tested, 292 had been involved in road traffic collisions and 13 were found to have been over the legal limit.
Last year 52 people were arrested after officers conducted 1,636 breath tests, meaning three per cent of those tested were either over the limit or failed to provide a test.
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Sergeant Paul Brown, from the Operational Support Unit, said: “The increase in people caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs highlight the reasons why we continue to target this behaviour.
“The figures show that only one more person was caught under the influence compared to last year’s campaign, whilst some may see this as a small number we believe that one person caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one too many.
“We work with many different organisations and carry out operations throughout the year to target drink or drug drivers in order to make the message clear that it is dangerous.
“These messages are important and could save people’s lives. Driving when under the influence of drink and drugs impairs a person’s ability to drive. Whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs a person is unable to make clear judgements, people are not fully in control of the vehicles and are putting lives at risk.
“We will continue to target any driver which we suspect to be under the influence and our officers are highly trained in recognising the signs of those who are driving whilst impaired.
“Prevention is definitely best when it comes reducing the risk to people’s lives that drink and drugs present. If we can stop a driver before they kill or seriously injure someone, then it’s better for all concerned. To do this we ask that the public contact the police when they suspect someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is in control of a vehicle.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said: “It is vital that people take these messages seriously, and wake up to the fact that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can have deadly consequences, not just for them but others too. I fully support the Police’s continued efforts in getting this message across, and highlighting the dangers.”