Merseyside Police is pleased to announce that the majority of motorists in Merseyside have driven responsibly over the Christmas period.During the Christmas drink and drug driving campaign that ran from 1 December until 31 December 2014, officers carried out a total of 8,260 breath tests and arrested 208 people for drink or drug driving-related offences.

Figures also reveal that during this period there has been a rise in road traffic collisions with 411 incidents in 2013 compared to 462 this year, an increase of 12 per cent. Out of the 857 drivers tested, following a road traffic collision, 53 drivers failed, which equates to 6 per cent.

Sergeant Paul Mountford, from the Roads Policing Unit said: “I am really encouraged to see that more than 97 per cent of people are driving responsibly. However, it is disappointing that we have seen a slight increase in motorists involved in road traffic collisions either drug driving or over the drink drive limit. While they represent a small minority of drivers, I cannot stress enough the danger that these people present, not just to themselves, but to other road users too.

“We are committed to tackling drink and drug driving throughout the year, not just during the Christmas period. Any driver involved in a road traffic collision, or who commits a traffic offence, can expect to be breathalysed at any time in the year, and may be required to perform an impairment test.”

During the month-long campaign 67 impairment tests were conducted and eight people arrested on drug driving offences. This shows a slight decrease compared to last year that out of 77 impairment tests, which led to 14 arrests.

“Again, it’s encouraging that people have listened to our messages over the Christmas period, however, the overall figures for 2014 does indicate a slight increase in drug driving. We made 118 arrests in 2014, compared to 105 arrests in 2013. Around 70 per cent of these arrests are drivers having taken cannabis.

“Our message to drivers is simple, just don’t drink or take drugs and then drive as the consequences can be severe.” concludes Paul Mountford.

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