By Tom Duffy

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has expressed concern for young drivers after a drink-driving campaign revealed they were proportionately more likely to drive while under the influence.

The December 2014 anti-drink-and-drug-driving campaign figures released yesterday (Tuesday) by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) following its annual Christmas crackdown, show that of the 28,228 under-25s tested in December, 6.33 per cent (1,788) gave a positive breath test or refused or failed to give a test, compared to over-25s, where 3.94 per cent (4,042)failed during the campaign. A total of 102,555 breath tests were administered to over-25s.

Officers took a “more intelligence-led approach” while collecting the recent data, leading to a reduction in the number of tests administered. A total of 133,996 people were stopped and breath tested last year compared to 191,040 in 2013.

Despite this, there was an increase in the number of under-25s who tested positive, refused or failed to give a test, up from 1,675 in 2013 to 1,788 last year. Meanwhile, the number of over-25s who tested positive fell from 4,482 to 4,042.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “While it is good news that the police are adopting an intelligence-led approach to target their resources at drivers most likely to be drinking, it’s also important that the overall number of breath tests is maintained.

“What is also worrying is the number of young people who are driving while under the influence of alcohol. Around 250 people are killed in drink-drive accidents every year and it is not just the drivers who suffer, but often their passengers, people in other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists, and the families of everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, the number of people who tested positive in Scotland, where the drink-drive limit has been lowered to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, during Police Scotland’s four-week festive drink-driving campaign fell by 19 per cent. A total of 17,504 drivers were tested for alcohol in December, and 351 drivers were caught under the influence compared to 434 in the same period last year.

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