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Drink driving continues to fall in Lancashire

John Freeman

The number of people caught drink driving in Lancashire has fallen again according to the results of the Constabulary’s Christmas drink drive campaign.


Between 1st December and 1st January, 13,249 tests were administered with just 168 – or 1.3 per cent – of people testing positive or refusing to provide a specimen. This compares to 2 per cent for the 2010 campaign and 2.2 per cent for the 2009 campaign.


The annual crackdown saw high-profile enforcement activity take place across the county. There were checkpoints at key locations where officers administered drink and drugs tests.


Superintendant Peter O’Dwyer said: “The number of people caught drink driving in Lancashire has fallen yet again, which is really encouraging.


“It indicates that the message is getting through to most people and that attitudes towards drink driving are changing.


“One person drink driving is one too many though," he adds. "We are not complacent and we will continue to carry out enforcement activity throughout the year – not just during the festive period – to target those who persist on driving after drinking or taking drugs.


“Statistics show that around one in six fatal collisions in Lancashire involve either drink or drugs or both and this is simply not acceptable.


“Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive and the only safe option is not to drive if you plan to drink. Our message is simple – do not drink and drive.”


In 2010, 2.9 per cent of those tested aged 25 and under failed the test. The failure rate for over 25s was 1.8 per cent mirroring a national trend which showed that the under 25 age group is more susceptible to driving after taking drink or drugs.


During the 2011 festive campaign, the failure rate amongst under 25s was 1.7 per cent compared to 1.2 per cent for the over 25 category.


Supt O’Dwyer added: “We have been working closely with the under 25 age group to educate them on the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This has included visits to colleges and universities.


“Whilst this year’s figures show that the under 25 age group is still more susceptible to drink driving, it is encouraging to see that this figure has improved.”


County Councillor Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "These figures confirm that attitudes to drink driving have changed beyond all recognition and it is very encouraging to see that the vast majority of people are aware of the potential consequences and would never take the risk.


"The number of people tested in Lancashire during the Christmas campaign is a great credit to the police and helps to reinforce the message that if you drink alcohol or take drugs before driving there is a very high risk that you will cause a serious accident or be pulled over and tested."


Information about drink driving can be reported to the police on 101 or to or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999