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.