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Drink drivers targeted in Christmas campaign

A third more drivers were breathalysed during Dorset Police’s 2013 Christmas drink and drive campaign compared to the previous year.

A total of 1472 breath tests were carried out by officers between 1 December 2013 and 1 January 2014 compared to the 1107 during the 2012 campaign – an increase of 33 per cent.

The Force recorded a total of 103 positive breath tests during the campaign, compared to 101 in 2012. This saw the percentage of people supplying positive breath tests drop from nine per cent in 2012 to seven per cent in 2013.

Every driver involved in a collision or stopped while committing a moving road traffic offence during the campaign was breath tested, irrespective of whether they were suspected of drink driving or not. In all 430 breath tests were carried out following collisions, of these 25 were positive or the individual refused or failed to provide.

A total of 108 people were arrested during the campaign.

This 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.

A total of 65 people aged between 18 and 75 were charged during the campaign. Of these 16 were women and 49 were men.

Sergeant Nikki Burt, of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “There are numerous possible consequences of drink driving. Not only do you risk being caught by the police and appearing in court, there is also an increased risk of being involved in a collision which could result in serious or even fatal injuries.

“There are still some drivers in Dorset who are not getting the message that drinking and driving is dangerous and is not worth the risk.

“Drink driving will not be tolerated in Dorset and officers will continue to target those motorists who think they are above the law and pose threats to the safety of themselves and other road users by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

“Research has shown that even one drink can impair the ability to drive so please don’t get behind the wheel after drinking any alcohol at all and do not get into a car with a driver who you suspect has consumed alcohol.”

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.

Sergeant Burt continued: “I would like to thank those members of the public who called us to shop a drink driver. I’d continue to urge anyone who suspects someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to call us so we can take action.”                                                                                                   

If you suspect someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, dial 999 immediately so police can intercept or call 101 or Crimestoppers with non-urgent information.

ISSUED: 17 January 2014