ACPO ‘disappointed’ with summer drink drive figures

12.00 | 28 July 2014 | | 5 comments

ACPO’s lead for roads policing has admitted she is ‘disappointed’ with the results of the recent summer drink drive campaign.

The figures show that while the number of tests administered decreased, the proportion of drivers failing increased by more than 1%. At 7.5%, the failure rate among drivers aged under-25 years was higher than the overall rate (6.5%).

The full campaign figures can be found on the ACPO website.

The increase in the failure rate could be down to ‘a more intelligence-led approach’ to testing drivers, with police forces focusing on morning after drink driving and areas where risk was highest.

Responding to the figures, chief constable Suzette Davenport, the national lead for roads policing said that despite repeated warnings about the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, too many people are still risking lives on the roads,

During the campaign, which ran from June 1 to June 30, 63,688 tests were administered, of which 4,108 (6.5%) were failed, tested positive or refused. This is a numerical decrease from 5,170 failed tests in 2013, but a percentage increase of 1.33% as testing practices changed, resulting in a decrease in the number of tests administered. 962 of the failed tests were carried out on drivers aged under-25 years.

CC Davenport said: “Our officers this summer used a very much more intelligence-led approach to testing. Forces focused on the dangers of driving the morning after a heavy night and targeting areas where risk was highest, particularly around venues broadcasting the World Cup.

“Despite us constantly hammering home the anti-drink and drug driving message, it is not being heeded by enough people.

“I fully understand that, throughout June and into July, many people wanted to enjoy the spectacle and excitement of the World Cup, music festivals and the like, and I have no desire whatsoever to diminish their enjoyment.

“However, they must take responsibility when getting behind the wheel of a car and ensure that they are in a fit state to do so. If you are not – you will be spotted, you will be tested and, if you fail that test, you will face serious consequences.

“Overall, I am disappointed in the figures emerging from this summer’s campaign, but I am confident that, year on year, we have started to get through to people.

“As the year progresses, officers nationwide will continue to be vigilant and do their utmost to keep our road users safe from those who make reckless decisions behind the wheel.”


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    Every week new drivers qualify and come onto the road. We can never assume that drinking or taking drugs then driving will become so unacceptable that no-one will do it. Murder and theft are against the law, society views them as unacceptable but still they happen. Driver information and education are never “done” they continue to need to be re-done and repeated with existing and, especially, with new drivers both whilst they learn and once qualified.

    We could help much more effectively by incorporating road user education within the school curriculum at every key stage and I and Road Safety GB are promoting this approach as a longer term aim. We all use the road network one way or another throughout our lives and yet there is no core content in the curriculum to teach every child even the most basic rules or road signs. No need for special lessons: it can be done within existing subjects e.g. geography, science, English and PE.

    Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB
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    The big disappointment is that after all these years we still have to have anti drink driving campaigns! 18 years ago a number of police forces considered not have a campaign but decided that if there was no campaign the public would think that the problem had also gone. I am pleased that the police are still in a position to run these programmes but with more roads traffic police and support from the courts we could really hammer home the message that the drink driver will be caught and punished.

    Peter London
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    Whilst I understand the disapointment, the police have changed their mode of operation and so any change in results is likely to occur. If they tested 1 in 10 drivers after 10pm and then changed to selected drivers after 10am who knows what the change would be!

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    Lovey idea Paul, (and include those over the limit but allowed to keep their licence) but those who break the driving law are likely to break a “DD” plate law unless they thought they were going to get caught and face £150+ and three points.

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    People caught driving cars whilst drunk should, when given their licences back after the suspension, be required to display plates to the front and rear (similar to learners). Two red Ds (one within the other) for a period of 5 years. This may have the effect of humiliating such drivers – but nobody dies of humiliation. What these plates would say is “I have been done for drinking before – I may be tanked up again, so be careful”; also “Seeing as I have been done before for driving while drunk, I expect the police to pull me for no other reason than to make sure I’ve not repeated the faux-pas”. Failure to display for those 5 years = a 1 point endorsement for each one missing (similar to failure to display “L” plates”). Don’t like it? Don’t drink and drive – it kills people.

    Paul from Barking
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