ACPO ‘very pleased’ with encouraging Xmas drink drive results

12.00 | 24 January 2014 | | 4 comments

Figures released today (24 Jan) show that drink-drive arrests were down by around 8%, despite an 8% rise in the number of breath tests administered over the Christmas 2013 period.

The campaign, which ran in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 29 November 2013 to 1 January 2014, resulted in 191,040 breath tests being administered, up from 175,831 in 2012. Of those, 6,550 tests were either positive, failed or refused – a reduction of around 8% compared with the 2012 figure of 7,123.

Of those refusing tests, or registering a positive or failed reading, 1,709 were tested following a collision, while 4,841 were tested in circumstances not involving a collision.

Of those registering a positive or failed reading or refusing to provide a specimen for analysis, 1,675 (25%) were aged under 25 years.

In addition, 513 Field Impairment Tests (FIT) were conducted, of which 143 resulted in an arrest.

Chief constable Suzette Davenport, national lead for roads policing, said: “I am very pleased to see that the anti-drink and drug driving message we relentlessly put out, year in, year out, got through to a significant number of people during Christmas 2013 – and according to the results of national drink-drive operations, fewer and fewer are taking that most deadly of risks.

“It is particularly gratifying to see a real-terms reduction even though testing has been increased.”

“I believe we are moving in the right direction – the last three years have shown a slow but steady fall in the number of drivers taking the risk of driving under the influence, and it is our goal to accelerate that decrease and maintain its momentum in the weeks, months and years ahead.”

Click here to read the full ACPO news release.



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    It is essential to know why these 6,550 that were processed by the Police chose to drive and I believe that the Police are in a position to assist with this. Every year the drink drive campaigns are advertised and they do try to be selective in the messages they get across, generally financial or the potential harm these drivers can do.

    If it’s possible to get to these root causes and work on them, the effect should help to bring these figures down even more. I’m not convinced that the “shotgun” approach is the way to go; the messages and research should be more targeted. Even if the limit is lowered, and I think it should be, these selfish drivers still need to be caught.

    The majority of drivers are respectful of drinking and driving but if 6,550 were caught how many got away with it?

    Mike RSO Leicestershire
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    Idris, if they are pulled over because their driving manner suggests they are impaired and prove otherwise by the test then this is also worrying that their general standard of driving seen by the police is below a safe level. We do not know how many were breathalised because they were involved in an accident and it is standard procedure, or how many were from phone in tip offs. The big shame is after all these years, 50 since the first drink drive advert, we still have a problem.

    Peter Westminster
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    6,550 guilty or unproven out of 175,831 tests (3.7%) implies random testing, which as I understand it, is illegal. Putting it another way, 96.3% were in the clear – so why were they stopped? Please do not assume my comment implies that I don’t care about drink driving, I oppose it. But I am also concerned about police exceeding their authority, if that was what they were doing.

    Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield
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    Encouraging news in one sense but the proportion under 25 failing or refusing is a concern. What are the previous year’s rates for the same age group? Perhaps someone can check my maths too – is it not the reduction in the “failure” rate rather than the reduction in the number “failing” that is important here. The “failure” rate in 2012 was 4.05% compared to 3.42% in 2013. I make that a reduction in the “failure” rate of about 15%. Encouraging, but still plenty for us to work on in partnership with our enforcement colleagues methinks. It’s a year round issue too!

    Robert – Dorset
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