Christmas campaign reveals increase in drink drivers across Cumbria

First published in News

RESULTS from Cumbria Constabulary's annual crackdown on drink driving showed 73 people either tested positive, failed or refused to provide a test.

The forcewide campaign ran from December 1 to January 1, and saw 2,275 people breath test.

Of those, 1,945 were tested as a result of proactive road side checks and 330 were administered following a collision.

Of those who failed, 12 were following a collision.

In the same period in 2012, 2,865 breath tests were conducted, of which 82 either positive, failed or refused, equating to 2.9%. Of the tests which were positive, 24 followed a collision.

Sergeant Graeme Hodgson, who led the campaign, said: “The number of people who were stopped and tested was slightly lower this year which was expected as this year we focussed on intelligence-led checks rather than a check of a more random nature.

“Although the figures show that there were fewer people caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the percentage of those who were checked and found to be under the influence has gone up and this is highly disappointing. We cannot over emphasise the risk that people take with their lives and the lives of other road uses when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

The Christmas Drink & Drug Drive Campaign has regularly focused on drivers under the age of 25. This year in Cumbria just under 22% of those who gave a positive, failed or refused test were under the age of 25.

Sergeant Hodgson continued: “To see any amount of people risking their lives and that of others is shocking. In 2014 we will continue to target drink and drug drivers in an effort to make our roads as safe as possible. Our message is very clear don’t drive whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” Chris Broadbent, from the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership, said: “This is a vital campaign which we support every year that aims to stop people from driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“The figures show that this remains a problem and one that as a partnership we have to work together in order to make our roads safer. The problem of motorists driving under the influence is certainly not just for Christmas but one that runs throughout the year and we stress that motorists have to act with more responsibility.”

Richard Rhodes, the Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is disappointing that people are still willing to drive under the influence of drink or drugs. I welcome the Constabulary operational policing campaign and it is only by us all continuing to work together that our roads will become safer.”

If you suspect someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs call police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency.

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