Road Safety News

Thousands caught during summer drink/drug drive campaign

Tuesday 22nd August 2017

More than 3,500 drivers were caught drink or drug driving during a recent month long campaign in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

During the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) summer campaign, which ran throughout June, 35,382 breath tests were administered, with 3,533 (10%) of those tests either failed, positive or refused.

Results from drug testing showed the highest proportion of positive tests since recording began in December 2015. Of the 2,022 drug screening devices administered, 1,084 returned positive (53.6%).

All police forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland participated in the campaign, with the NPCC saying officers ran ‘intelligence-led operations’ to target offenders.

Looking at age, there was little difference in the percentages of drivers aged over or under 25 years who failed a test.

7,609 tests were administered to under 25-year-olds - 736 of which were positive, refused or failed (9.7%). This compares to 23,997 tests for drivers aged over 25 years, 9.6% (2,298) of which returned positive, refused or failed.

Assistant chief constable Steve Barry, NPCC roads policing portfolio, said: “Every police force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland took part in this latest campaign using targeted, local knowledge to detect drink or drug driving offences and help prosecute thousands of offenders.

“We are committed to enforcing the law to educate people about the penalties they face and the serious threat to life presented by this irresponsible and dangerous behaviour.

“While we continue to see benefits of new drug driving laws and testing kits resulting in more detections, the scale of this problem remains a real concern for police.

“Thousands of people still attempt to drive after drinking or taking drugs – you are making a selfish decision that puts your own life and the lives of others at risk. Our message is the same all year round – don’t do it.”

Categories: Drink driving, Drug driving.



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Pat, your argument is somewhat erroneous as target has ben set by law and that's easy to relate to. Blow in the device and your either gulty or not. The same cannot be said about tiredness unfortunately so how can one decide on the degree of tiredness and its effects on the ability to drive. One cannot and so it goes unchallenged. No police officer is going to stand up in court and say 'He looked tired to me your worships'.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

Bob, tired/sleepy sober drivers are as much a risk as drivers with small amounts of alcohol less than the legal limit. The government have set a threshold for alcohol levels whether one agrees with where it is set or not is a slightly different matter. Setting a threshold for sleepiness (a minimum level of alertness) whilst driving would be interesting.

By the way Charles, ‘targeted’ anti drink driving campaigns have traditionally returned results around 4 – 5% so, yes, we do know from many years of police campaigns/ testing that 10% is abnormal, but as already asked, not why.
Pat, Wales

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

First of all its known that the gut produces about 0.003% of alcohol that is permanantly in the body so that is too small an amount to be concerned about.

Second, If we are being of a negative frame of mind, what about all the collisions and incidents with resulting deaths, injuries and damage which are committed by drivers who have been breathalised and found to have consumed alcohol but who register below the lawful limit. Maybe these circumstances would not have happened if they had had the will power to stay sobber and refuse to drink any alcohol or had perhaps obeyed a law that makes any alcohol an offence. Any alcohol which is recognised to have a bad effect on anyone's cognative ability.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (4) | Disagree (9)

Here are just more statistics that cannot inform any discussions on the subject of drink-driving. Why are the "refused" and "failed" rolled into the "positives" and not separated out? We need to know how many were actually positive - we don't care about the rest - we cannot assume that all of those who refused and all of those who failed were also over the limit - that makes nonsense of the data. Also, without knowing the background level of blood-alcohol in the driving population as a whole, we cannot say whether 10% (even if they were all over the limit) is representative, or not, of the driving population as a whole. And more importantly, whether those over the limit are over- or under-represented in the collision contributory factors data.

This is just more evidence that we still don't understand the scale of the drink-driving problem (or even if there is one actually), or what could or should be done about it (if there is one) to make our roads safer.
Charles, England

Agree (12) | Disagree (7)

Just more evidence that the law on alcohol should be nil by mouth.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (4) | Disagree (17)

10% failed, positive or refused tests is a very high percentage. The obvious question that follows is - Is this reflecting an increase in general drink /drug driving or is the targeted and intelligence led policing getting more focused and accurate?
Pat, Wales

Agree (17) | Disagree (0)