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Number of drink drivers drops in Cheshire
8:30am Tuesday 29th January 2013 in News
THE number of people drink driving over the festive period has dropped, according to police.
Cheshire Police figures show that 95 per cent of motorists passed breath tests during the Operation Keret, the force’s annual clampdown, with 157 out of 3273 people tested between December 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013 arrested for drink driving related offences.
In 2011’s campaign, 3089 drivers were tested with 175 of them arrested for positive, refused or failed breath tests.
This equates to a drop in arrests from 5.7 per cent in 2011 to 4.8 per cent in 2012.
Figures show that of those 157 arrests in 2012, 42 were made in west Cheshire and 63 in east Cheshire.
The ‘morning after’ factor, or tests carried out between 8am and midday accounted for less than 3 per cent of arrests, with half of the arrests made between midnight on a Saturday and 11.59pm on a Sunday.
Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie said: “The outcome of the 2012 winter drink driving campaign shows the excellent work, and tenacity of our officers in keeping our roads safe.
“By stepping up enforcement measures and utilising extra resources over Christmas, this has allowed us to identify those motorists who are still not heeding our “don’t drink and drive” warnings.
“However, what is still clearly evident is the worrying trend that the younger generation are not showing compliance despite our continued road safety messages to consider the consequences of your actions and think before getting into a car, after having drunk alcohol or taken drugs.”
One of the main focuses of the winter campaign was on the under 25s after research from 2011 showed that drivers aged between 20 and 24 failed more breath tests than any other age group.
However, this year’s operation saw male drivers between 26 and 30-years-old as being the biggest offenders, accounting for 19 per cent of the arrests made.
Cheshire Police’s operation ran alongside a national campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
ACPO lead for road policing, Deputy Chief Suzette Davenport, said: “We made it clear to drivers before Christmas that we would be stepping up our efforts to breathalyse them and it is encouraging to see that the message had got through to even more drivers than last year.
“However, there is still a small but significant number who believe that they can risk their own lives and the lives of others, by driving under the influence and we will continue to focus on catching them.”
POLICE have revealed that many young drivers believe using drugs improves your driving ability.
As part of the enforcement measures, Cheshire Police also tested drivers for being under the influence of drugs.
Of the 26 drug impairment tests carried out by officers during the campaign, eight arrests were made, with the average age of drug drivers found to be 28.
Dave Murray, road safety officer, said: “Many young people I speak to genuinely believe that certain drugs – mainly cannabis and stimulants make you a safer driver, this is a myth.
“The reality is that taking drugs and attempting to drive carries serious consequences.
“Drugs, like alcohol have the capacity to distort your perception of things in all kinds of ways.
“One thing is certain, they definitely do not enhance your ability to carry out the complex task of driving, and they only make it more difficult and dangerous.”
PC Andy Taylor of North West Motorway Police Group added: “The results from last year’s Operation Keret demonstrate that a certain amount of drivers are willing to flaunt the law and drive while under the influence of drink and drugs.
“Cheshire Police will continue to detect and prosecute drivers under the influence to make the communities of Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Halton and Warrington a safer place.”