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Christmas Drink Driving in Lancashire shows small fall in positive tests

John Freeman
Over 200 people were caught drink driving in Lancashire during the police’s Christmas drink drive campaign, but the percentage of drunk drivers was down slightly on last year's figures, including in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

A total of 17,400 tests were administered throughout the month of December with 202 people, or 1.2 per cent, failing the test and 19 people, or 0.1 per cent, refusing to provide a specimen. This means the total number of people who failed or refused the test was 221 or 1.3 per cent.

During the Christmas 2012 campaign, 18,964 tests were administered with 281 people, or 1.5 per cent, failing the test or refusing to provide a specimen.

In the County's Northern Division, which covers Lancaster and Morecambe, in the 2013 Christmas period 2,900 tests were administered; 2,517 passed, giving a 98.2% pass rate. 47 people tested positive or refused to take a test, a 1.8% failure rate.

In 2012 during the same period 2,564 tests were administered; 2,867 passed, giving a 98.9% pass rate. 33 people tested positive or refused to take a test, a 1.1% failure rate.

The annual crackdown on drink driving saw high-profile enforcement activity take place around the clock across the county.

“It is pleasing to see the number of people drink driving on Lancashire’s roads has reduced," commneted Chief Inspector Debbie Howard. "I hope that the message is getting through to people that drink driving is extremely dangerous and the consequences are high.

“221 people caught drink driving is still too many," she added. "We are not complacent and will continue to carry out regular enforcement to take action against those who continue to break the law.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: "People who choose to drink and drive are not only putting their own lives in serious danger, they are risking the lives of everyone around them.

"That is why this operation over Christmas was so important and while I am delighted the overwhelming majority of people tested were not under the influence, it is disappointing that over 200 people in Lancashire chose to take to the road after drinking alcohol. They have put both themselves and others on the road at serious risk.

"I saw first-hand in Blackpool the effort which goes into the drink drive operation from Lancashire Constabulary's officers, and I am fully behind the Constabulary's ongoing efforts to target those who put lives at risk on our roads. High-profile operations such as this can only help spread the message further and be positive for the county's residents."

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is a risk simply not worth taking.

"The evidence is clear that you're many times more likely to cause a crash if you're over the limit than a driver who hasn't been drinking.

"This operation demonstrates that prevention of drink driving is a high priority in Lancashire and we'll continue to work closely with the police to keep people safe on our roads."

• If you would like to report someone who you suspect of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contact the police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999