Drink driving down, drug driving up in 2012 festive campaign

12.00 | 21 January 2013 | | 2 comments

The percentage of people failing a breath test in December 2012 fell slightly compared with the previous year, but there are signs that drug driving may be on the increase.

Official Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) figures show that police officers carried out almost 20,000 more breath tests in December 2012 compared with 2011.

In December 2012 more than 175,000 people were stopped and tested for drink driving compared with nearly 157,000 people in 2011. The total number that refused or failed a test fell from 7,124 (4.55%) to 7,123 (4.05%).

Focusing on the under 25s, police breathalysed more than 1,000 extra drivers in this age category compared with December 2011. With 104 fewer under-25s failing tests, this equates to a reduction from 5.73% to 5.27%.

In December 2012 police also tested 137,671 drivers over the age of 25 – nearly 20,000 more than in 2011. With 115 fewer people failing, the percentage fell from 4.05% to 3.39%.

Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, ACPO lead for roads policing, said: “It’s good to see that yet again the majority of drivers are responsible and sensible. Our results show that by far the majority of drivers stopped did not drink or take drugs and drive.

“We made it absolutely clear to drivers before Christmas that we would be stepping up our efforts to breathalyse them and we warned people against the dangers of drink and drug driving.”

When it came to drug-driving the figures were less encouraging. In December 2012 police conducted 360 field impairment tests (FIT) compared with 540 in 2011. The percentage of Section 4 arrests following a FIT increased from 16.85% in December 2011 to 21.39% in 2012.

Commenting on the significant reduction in FITs carried out this year compared to 2011, an ACPO spokesman said: “Similar to drink drivers, officers carry out field impairment tests where they suspect those of being under the influence of drugs and officers can only respond to the cases they are faced with.

“While the number of those tested did fall, the percentage of drivers arrested was higher in 2012 compared with 2011 and 2010 and is evidence of officers continuing to tackle this very serious offence.”

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    Yet again, how to mislead without actually telling fibs.

    If the police targetted their breath tests only at drivers staggering out of pubs late at night, they might well find 50 to 90% over the limit. If they targetted only church-goers leaving at 3pm they might well find 0.5%

    Between the two extremes, the larger the number of tests, the lower the “positive” percentage will be – and so a lower % last year proves absolutely nothing about anything.

    On the other hand, a falling positive % amongst a smaller number might.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I applaud the work that the police do and congratulate them for capturing so many drink/drug drivers. However, am I being too sceptical with the results and the police message?

    The 2011 drink/drug drive campaign saw more people arrested, despite a lower amount of people tested…and the police called it: “intelligence-led Policing” – See RSGB article here http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/2014.html

    This year, they caught fewer people, despite more breath tests and nothing is mentioned about this year being intelligence led or anything negative about less people being caught.

    My point is whether the police catch more or less drink/drug drivers they always put a positive spin on it (for them)…

    Mike, from award winning http://dontbethatsomeone.co.uk (London)
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