Gloucestershire’s drink drive arrests a success for campaign
Figures totted up by Gloucestershire Road Safety have shown that the number of motorists arrested in the run up to the New Year was down.
Gloucestershire Police officers stepped up roadside checks for the Eat, Think, Be Merry campaign, from December 1 2013 to January 1, 2014, while warnings were promoted across the county urging people not to touch a drop of alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
In total, 1,569 drivers were stopped, with 57 people arrested, leading to a failure rate of 3.6 per cent.
This compared to 1,835 roadside checks in December 2012, in which 69 people were arrested, with a failure rate of 3.8 per cent.
For the first time, the county’s Roads Policing Unit was joined by Special Constables at roadside checks.
Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall, who is also head of operations at the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, said: “It’s encouraging to see the number of drivers caught over the limit has fallen, but it’s frustrating to see that some people are still not getting the message.
“Drink driving costs lives, and we will continue to educate people locally.
“If lessons aren’t learnt drivers can expect to be arrested and dealt with by the courts.”
Cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, Will Windsor-Clive, said: “The Road Safety Partnership works all year round to educate drivers on the risks of drink driving and the results of this year’s winter campaign show that message is hitting home.
“We will continue to make it clear to people that if they drink and drive they will be caught. It’s just not worth taking the chance.”
Figures show that, on average, three drivers a day fail a breath test in Gloucestershire, which reflects a national trend.
In 2012, two collisions in the county a week involved someone who took the risk of drinking and driving and, from these, 31 people received fatal or serious injuries.
Inspector for Roads Policing at Gloucestershire Police, Kevin Roseblade said: “We’re pleased that these results show a decrease, albeit slight, in the percentage of people failing breath tests.
“I can reassure people that our efforts to foster safe and social driving, a central part of our police and crime plan, will continue all year round and that we are determined to reduce the number of people putting their own lives and the lives of others at risk.”
In the UK 280 people were killed in drink drive incidents in 2012, an increase of around 17% on 2011’s figure.