The number of motorists found drink and drug driving in Merseyside during this year’s targeted summer awareness campaign has increased slightly compared to last year.
During the month-long campaign in June, officers were out in force across Merseyside targeting motorists suspected of driving after having had a few drinks or taken drugs as well as stopping drivers to speak to them about the risks of getting behind the wheel while under the influence – particularly the morning after.
Between June 1 and June 30, a total of 3,443 drivers were stopped in Merseyside and breath tested. Of those, 123 people failed or refused a breath test, equating to 3.6 per cent.
Last year, 3,034 drivers were given breath tests with 90 of those failing or refusing, which equates to 2.9 per cent.
Twenty-five drivers were also tested for drugs resulting in seven arrests – the same amount as last year.
Head of Merseyside Police’s Roads Policing Department Chief Inspector John Hogan said: “There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs and risking the safety and lives of others.
“Merseyside Police is committed to tackling drink and drug drivers on our roads and it is disappointing to see that people are still prepared to drive after drinking or taking drugs. This summer we performed a higher number of breath tests as well as carrying out more targeted enforcement and we will continue to do so until our message is heard loud and clear by all.
“We work hard with our partners to challenge the perception that it is acceptable to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs and we carry out regular enforcement as well as education all year round to tackle the minority that persist to flout the law.
“Road traffic collisions destroy lives – it could be your son, daughter, mother, father or other loved one who is knocked over and killed by a drink or drug driver. We are determined to do all we can to ensure fewer lives are ruined as a result of careless or dangerous driving but we ask drivers to help us by driving carefully and responsibly.”
The number of under-25-year-olds who tested positive or refused a breath test also increased from 4.6 per cent last year to 6.3 per cent this year. This equates to a difference of 30 under-25-year-olds in 2011 to 47 under-25-year-olds in 2012.
Sgt Paul Mountford added: “Young drivers have so many opportunities to look forward to, they should not consider risking it all by driving under the influence. Even the smallest amount of alcohol or cannabis can affect your ability to drive safely. If it is in your system, you will be prosecuted, and may end up with a criminal record, which could have devastating consequences for your future.
“Generally, home-poured drinks are larger than ones served in pubs, which leads to more alcohol being consumed. It can take a number of hours for alcohol to leave a person’s system, often meaning that a driver can still be over the limit or impaired the following day. If anyone is any doubt they should use public transport rather than risk driving.”
Any driver involved in a road traffic collision, or who commits a traffic offence, can expect to be breathalysed and may be required to perform an impairment test. Should they fail the breath test, or perform poorly during the impairment test they may be arrested and the penalties can be severe.
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