More than 7,100 people were arrested in the annual Christmas and New Year campaign targeting drink and drug drivers.
The campaign ran from 1 December 2011 to 1 January 2012 with officers from 43 forces throughout England and Wales testing drivers at all times of the day and night. This year forces undertook intelligence led testing. As a result, a larger percentage of the smaller sample of drivers tested failed the test.
Deputy chief constable Suzette Davenport, ACPO lead for roads policing, said: “During the crackdown nearly 157,000 people were stopped and tested.
“Despite clear messages that driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs isn’t accepted, more than 7,000 drivers ignored the messages and placed their own lives and the lives of fellow road users in jeopardy anyway.”
Young drivers continue to have a higher rate of offending at 5.7% compared to over 25s at 4%. ACPO says that this highlights the important role that the police, government, parents and society as a whole have to play to educate the newest generation of drivers.
ACPO also says the figures support claims that those driving under the influence are more likely to be involved in a collision.
DCC Davenport said: “Again, like previous years, results show that if you drive whilst under the influence, you are at greater risk of being involved in a collision.
“7% of people tested after a collision were found to be under the influence compared to 4.1% for routine tests. Once again this shows a clear, demonstrable link between drinking and drug driving and crashing.”
An increased number of field impairment tests were carried out on drivers to see if they were driving under the influence of drugs. The 36% increase in tests shows that police forces are taking the issue seriously and are determined to reduce the number of killed and seriously injured on our roads through drug use.
DCC Davenport also praised the number of responsible drivers, saying: “Although the purpose of the campaign is to crack down on the number of drivers causing danger on our roads, the vast majority of drivers know that driving whilst under the influence has a devastating effect and refuse to do so.
“I would take this opportunity to remind drivers that there is no safe limit on drinking alcohol. The only way to ensure that you are driving safely is to not drink alcohol at all.”