Drivers in rural areas are more likely to get behind the wheel even though they’ve been drinking, new figures obtained by the Press Association suggest.
According to a Freedom of Information investigation, regions that consist of largely rural areas have a higher rate of drink-driving prosecutions than more urbanised areas.
Worst offending areas
All of the UK’s 45 police forces have been contacted as part of the investigation, and the data reflects prosecutions for the year up to May 2017.
Of the 31 police forces that responded, Lincolnshire has the highest rate of drink-drivers for its population.
The county has prosecuted 1,035 motorists for drunk driving, or 14 per 10,000 population.
North Wales (11.27 per 10,000), Warwickshire (10.51 per 10,000), Dyfed-Powys (9.56 per 10,000) and North Yorkshire (9.28 per 10,0000) make up the top five.
Comparatively, Leicestershire has only five prosecutions per 10,000 – the lowest rate of all the forces that responded.
Inspector Ewan Gell, of Lincolnshire’s serious collision investigation unit, says while the data shows the force is “skilled at catching offenders”, it does indicate that there is a problem with drink-driving in the county.
He added: “We need to work very carefully to get the education message across to make sure we get those figures down.
“The only way you can change drink and drug-driving behaviour is by fear of getting caught and what these figures say to me is that we are good at catching people, so that is the message we will be putting out, we are very effective at targeting individuals who drink-drive.”
Edmund King, president of motoring organisation AA, says the data could also suggest there is poor access to public transport in areas with higher rates of drink-driving.
He continued: “It could also be down to more targeted police enforcement, but whatever the reasons, there is no excuse for drink-driving.”
The figures have been released this month, amid an annual crackdown by police as they try and tackle festive drink-driving.
Anthony Bangham, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, said: “Every year, police forces deal with cases of drink or drug-driving that directly result in families facing Christmas without loved ones.
“While we continue to work on educating people against drink and drug-driving and police forces are using intelligence to target offenders, the scale of the problem is still a real concern.”
Reference: Daily Telegraph
Date Published: January 14, 2018
Author: Jackie Kingsley