Road Safety News
 

ACPO disappointed with drink and drug drive figures

Wednesday 1st August 2012

Of the 83,224 drivers tested for drink driving during ACPO’s month long summer campaign, 4,857 (5.8%) tested positive, refused or failed a breath test, a slight improvement on last year when 6% failed.

There was also a small fall in the number of under 25s found drink driving. Of the 19,714 tested this year, 1,327 (6.7%) tested positive, refused or failed, down from 7.4% in 2011.

However, ACPO says these slight improvements are not the significant drop that police officers were hoping for.

Deputy chief constable Suzette Davenport, ACPO lead on roads policing, said: “Although there has been a reduction, this reduction is not big enough. There were still almost 5,000 drivers found to be driving under the influence who have not got the message.

“Through our annual Christmas and summer campaigns we have consistently warned the public that drink and drug driving can kill.

“We are disappointed that there is still a group of people who are not listening or ignoring the consequences and continuing to drink or take drugs and drive. The police will continue to work with communities to reach this group of drivers.”

Police used field impairment tests to check for drivers under the influence of drugs and of those stopped on suspicion of drug driving, 22% were arrested.

DCC Suzette Davenport added: “We know that drink and drugs impair judgement, reduce concentration and delay reaction speed and this is clearly leading to collisions that put people’s lives at risk.

“Our message is clear and simple: if you planning to go out and drink, make arrangements to avoid driving, whether that is using public transport, taking a taxi or nominating a driver who will not drink. Taking the risk is just not worth it.”

Mike Penning, road safety minister, added: “I welcome the news that the number of under 25s drink driving has fallen, however it's clear that there's still a lot to do.

“We are making it easier for the police to tackle drug driving by introducing new legislation that will create a specific drug driving offence to test for the presence of drugs in drivers.”

For more information contact ACPO on 020 7084 8946/47/48.

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Why on earth would Acpo think that breath tests applied to a few thousand drivers out of some 40 million could have the slightest effect on the behaviour of those 40m who were not tested, effects sufficient to be visible above the randomstatistical noise inherent in the results?

Are not the year-on-year changes no more than random variations relating to nothing much but pure chance?

What fuels such exercises - wishful thinking? Make-work ideas, hardly necessary when no more than 20% or so of crimes are ever solved and it's near-impossible to find a policeman when you need one?

For lack of space here I have addressed further questions to Acpo at:

http://www.lccsa.org.uk/news.asp?ItemID=25398&rcid=15&pcid=2&cid=15
Idris Francis

Agree (1) | Disagree (7)
-6

This is not very surprising. With regards to drink driving, while they know the legalities and consequences, many people seem to have a lack of understanding of what drink driving involves, particularly among the younger element. In our work at a local college many students who state they would never drink and drive, learn that they possibly do so without realising. This is due to complete ignorance of how long alcohol can stay in the body after consumption. On a recent Monday morning voluntary breath testing activity, one young lady showed 18mg at 9.30am after drinking on Saturday night.

In lessons, students calculate their alcohol intake for a typical “good” night out. In many cases they can consume over 40 units [even allowing for exaggeration in front of their peers].

All the publicity, appeals, school lessons and demonstrations of the consequences are of little use until we start giving people the knowledge they need rather than telling them not to do something that they don’t completely understand.
Andy, Medway

Agree (10) | Disagree (0)
+10