A police crackdown on drink or drug driving caught thousands of motorists breaking the law, according to official figures.
A campaign by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is aimed at reducing the number of people driving “under the influence” and saw almost 50,000 vehicles being pulled over between June 10 and July 10.
From 45,000 motorists who were breathalised, 4,539 drivers were deemed to be under the influence of alcohol, refused to take the test or failed. Those determined to have failed suggest results could not be determined from the specimens given.
More than 1,000 drivers tested positive for drugs.
Legal driving limits were imposed for 17 separate illegal and prescription drugs under new legislation that came into force in March last year.
As well as drug screening, field impairment assessment can be applied if an officer suspects a motorist of having taken drugs.
There were 279 field impairment test undertaken between June and July and 80 motorists were arrested as a result.
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, national lead for roads policing, said: “It is encouraging to see that our intelligence-led approach continues to work – fewer tests administered but increased criminal justice outcomes, with forces actively targeting hotspots and using their local knowledge to get drink- and drug-drivers off our roads.”
Ms Davenport says it is disappointing to see over 4,500 people drink driving and over 1,000 people driving whilst under the influence of drugs, but that overall the campaign has been successful.
She added: “We remind those who drive when intoxicated that police forces across the country are better equipped than ever before to detect and prosecute drivers who ignore the law.
“We continue to see the benefit of the new drug-driving law and swab kits with nearly 40% of those being screened testing positive at the road-side and being prevented from causing harm to other road users.”
Gary Rae, of road safety charity Brake, said: “The latest national figures from the police show worrying signs, with a large drop in the amount of people being tested but an increase in those who tested positive, failed or refusing the test.”
Source: The Express
Date Published: August 30, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown