Holiday Drunk Driving Arrests Rise in UK

Figures released by ACPO show that 7,124 drivers were arrested during the drink-drive crackdown that ran across England and Wales from Dec. 1, 2011, until Jan. 1, 2012.

More than 7,200 people were arrested in a month-long Christmas and New Year campaign targeting drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs, the United Kingdom Association of Chief Police Officers announced recently.

Figures released by ACPO show that 7,124 drivers were arrested during the drink-drive crackdown that ran across England and Wales from Dec. 1, 2011, until Jan. 1, 2012. Across all age groups, the figures represent 4.55 percent of those who were breath-tested. For drivers under the age of 25, 5.73 percent of those tested were arrested.

On drug driving, 540 field impairment tests were conducted (an increase from 396 tests given during the previous year’s campaign), and 91 (16.85 percent) of those tested were arrested.

Kevin Clinton, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) head of road safety, said, “It is extremely disappointing but sadly not surprising that, despite three decades of drink-drive education and enforcement, thousands of drivers were caught drinking and driving in just one month.

“Provisional figures show that 250 people were killed in drink-drive accidents on Great Britain’s roads in 2010—accounting for 14 percent of all road fatalities. In addition, 1,230 people were seriously injured and 8,220 people were slightly injured in accidents involving someone who was over the legal alcohol limit. These casualty figures plus today’s Christmas campaign figures from ACPO illustrate the fact that we cannot ease up on the fight to keep drink drivers off our roads,” Clinton said.

Young drivers continue to have a higher rate of offending at 5.7 percent compared to drivers 25 or older at 4 percent. Figures also supported claims that those driving under the influence are more likely to be involved in a collision, ACPO said.

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