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More than 6,600 caught drink driving in one month

20 January 2011

More than 6,600 people were arrested for drink driving over the festive period.

Police forces across England and Wales arrested 6,613 drivers who gave positive breath tests, or who refused or failed to give a test, between 1 December and 1 January.

A third of the drivers arrested during the forces’ Christmas and New Year drink and drug driving campaign where under the age of 25.

Speaking at the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards in December 2010, Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning, spoke of his desire to educate a new generation of motorists about the dangers of driving while under the influence and “come down hard” on those who break the law.

The figures released by ACPO help demonstrate that the message needs to be redelivered effectively and continuing enforcement is required.

Drink and drug driving are persistent problems, and while the laws and tools are there for officers to tackle drink driving, the process for drug driving is still in development.

In 2009, drink driving was a cause in 17% of road deaths. According to recent European research, 14-17% of drivers killed or injured in crashes have drugs in their system. 

Arguments for enforcement are not always easy to make, as the majority of drivers act responsibly and keep within the law.

However, tough and clear laws for both drink and drug driving are needed, along with measured public information campaigns, to stop the minority who cause a disproportionate amount of harm.

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