MERSEYSIDE RELEASE SUMMER DRINK DRIVE CAMPAIGN RESULTS
A month-long drink and drug drive campaign in June reveals that 98 per cent of motorists in Merseyside are driving responsibly.
A total of 5,527 drivers were stopped in Merseyside and breath tested. Police also conducted 51 impairment tests on drivers suspected of taking drugs, resulting in 10 arrests. Six of these were cannabis-related.
Overall, 124 arrests were made for failing or refusing a breath test (2.1 per cent), which is down from 2.9 per cent in the last Christmas campaign and 2.4 per cent in the last year’s summer drink drive campaign.
Chief Inspector John Hogan, Head of Merseyside Police’s Roads Policing Department said ” What these figures show is the determination that Merseyside Police have to deter and detect those drivers who drink and drive and who take drugs and drive. They are very encouraging and I would like to recognise that the vast majority of drivers are responsible road users who are heeding our advice.
“However, 1 in 50 of those drivers we tested are not and either failed or refused to provide us with a breath specimen. By drinking and driving, people not only risk their own life, but those of their passengers and others on the road. Figures show that the number of drivers failing a breath test after a collision rises to 6.4 per cent.”
“I would like to reassure the public that we will continue to carry out enforcement throughout 2014 and will seek to engage with road users to educate them about the dangers that alcohol and drugs pose”.
Merseyside Police is currently taking part in a three year trial, using a Drager cannabis testing device in each of their five custody suites. The devices, which test for the presence of Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive element of the drug, have the potential to reduce the length of time police officers spend off the streets. In a recent case, a cannabis-impaired driver was booked into custody, processed and a blood sample obtained, all within one hour and thirty minutes.
Sgt Paul Mountford, the Force Lead on drink and drug driving stated ” We have invested heavily in training our officers to recognise the signs of drugs in drivers and have consistently achieved good results in campaigns over the past four years. We are well aware of the increasing use of cannabis and the threat that it and other drugs pose to drivers. The Drager devices should further enable us to become more efficient and achieve even better results in the future.”
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