Increase in number of people caught drink-driving over Christmas
A downward trend of incidents of drink-driving has been bucked this year, with more drivers who were under the influence being caught behind the wheel this festive period than over Christmas and New Year 2014/5.
Wiltshire Police say that between December 1 2015 and January 3 2016 they arrested 68 people on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or failing to provide a sample, compared with 54 over the same period last year.
According to figures released this week, 728 people were stopped and breath tested. Sixty eight were arrested. Eighteen gave a positive breath test after being involved in an accident. Sixteen drivers who failed the breath test were under 25. Twenty four people were screened for suspected drug use, of whom 10 were positive or failed to provide a sample and were arrested.
Sergeant Gavin Brewster, of the Wiltshire Road Safety Unit, said: “68 positive results are significantly higher on last year which saw a total of 54 positives or fail to provide a sample.”
“This clearly shows the drink/drug driving message is still not being listened to and acted on by all. This figure is very disappointing but Wiltshire Police would like to thank members of the public for calling in and working with the police to help get these drink and drug drivers off of the road.”
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “One of the key things I always want to ensure is that the Force keeps our roads safe. I am disappointed to see that the year-on-year figures for December drink and drug driving have increased.”
And Wiltshire Police Chief Constable, Mike Veale, said: “Drinking to excess or taking drugs when driving is simply unacceptable at any time of the year and our efforts to catch offenders will not cease.
“The best advice we can give drivers is not to drink or take illegal drugs at all. The penalties are significant and if the worst happened and someone died as a result of drink/drug driving, the driver would be facing a prison sentence. It is just not worth the risk.”
Anyone wishing to report an incident of drink/drug driving should call Wiltshire Police on 101 and select option 4 for the Drink Drive Hotline.