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Christmas campaign targeted drink and drug drivers

8 February 2016

A successful drink and drug drive campaign in Dorset sees more drink drivers facing the consequences of their actions.

A total of 869 breath tests were carried out by officers during the Christmas campaign, which ran between Tuesday 1 December 2015 and Friday 1 January 2016, compared to 1086 during the same period the previous year.

As standard practice during the Christmas drink and drug drive campaign officers breathalysed all drivers involved in collisions, those stopped while committing a moving road traffic offence and anyone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. The Road Traffic Act does not permit random breath testing.

In total Dorset Police recorded 105 arrests during the campaign – 20 of which were for driving under the influence of drugs and five for refusing to provide a sample. During the same period the previous year 88 people were arrested.

As in the previous year anyone charged with a drink or drug driving-related offence in Dorset during the campaign had their name and court appearance details released to the media.

In all, 44 people have so far been charged as a result of the campaign. Of these 33 were men and 11 were women.

Inspector Matt Butler, of the Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Alliance Road Policing Team, said: “It is disappointing that despite the obvious risks, a number of motorists decided to drive after taking drugs or drinking.

“New technology is allowing us to test motorists for the presence of drugs and 20 drivers were arrested as a result of positive drug tests.

“We know that alcohol is a factor in around 25 per cent of deaths on our roads and we will continue to target motorists who put other road users at risk throughout the year and appeal to the public to help us.”

If someone is caught drink driving, they will face a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

Inspector Butler continued: “If you think someone is about to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, then call us on 999 immediately so police can intercept or call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 with non-urgent information.”