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Wednesday, 7 January, 1998, 17:07 GMT
Drink-driving - breakdown by police force
The Christmas drink-drive figures for individual police forces.
  • ESSEX:

A total of 11,448 breath tests were conducted between December 1, 1997 and January 2, 1998. Of these, 342, or 3%, were positive.

The figures included 1,173 breath tests taken after collision accidents, of which 69 were positive. In its 1996-97 Christmas campaign, Essex Police conducted 4,332 tests of which 107, or 2.47% were positive.

The county's traffic division operations head, Chief Inspector Mick Thwaites, said: "There is a hard core of drivers out there who are still willing to flout the law."

  • NORTH YORKSHIRE:

A total of 271 breath tests were conducted at the scene of accidents, with 16 proving positive. Of these accidents, 113 resulted in injury.

  • SOUTH YORKSHIRE:

Of 241 breath tests were conducted after accidents, 25 proved positive and 137 of the accidents resulted in injury.

  • NORTHUMBRIA:

Police conducted 446 post-accident breath tests, of which 47 proved positive, and 233 of the accidents resulted in injury.

  • DURHAM:

A total of 98 breath tests were conducted after accidents of which 15 were positive, with 66 of the accidents involving injury.

  • CHESHIRE:

A total of 358 motorists were breathalysed at accident scenes with 30 drivers, around 8%, providing a positive test. Of these collisions, 144 resulted in injury.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Moody said: "On the whole we are satisfied with the results of the initiative.

"Nonetheless, a figure of 8% of persons supplying positive breath tests clearly shows there is a hard core of drivers who are willing to put their own lives and those of others at risk."

  • WILTSHIRE:

Police gave 138 breath tests after collisions, of which 27 (19.56%) were positive. There were 81 injury accidents.

Sergeant Cavan Moroney, the force's accident prevention officer, said he was "bitterly disappointed" with the figures.

  • AVON AND SOMERSET:

145 tests were given in collision incidents, with 30 (20.68%) proving positive. There were 60 injury accidents.

  • LANCASHIRE:

A total of 523 tests were conducted at the scenes of accidents, of which 84 were positive. There were 218 injury accidents in the 1997-98 Christmas period, a reduction of 57% on the 1996-97 festive figure of 507.

The county force ran Operation High Profile in which 30,000 people were asked at police road checks if they had drunk alcohol.

  • CUMBRIA:

Police administered 229 tests in collision accidents, of which 11 were positive. There were 71 injury accidents during the campaign. In all, the force conducted 1,193 tests, with 63 of them positive.

It was a rise on the previous year when 57 out of 1,343 tests were positive.

  • GREATER MANCHESTER:

A total of 324 drivers were arrested after positive tests, a fall from the previous year's figure of 361. There were 406 injury accidents, including five fatalities.

A total of 63 people were arrested following positive breath tests after accidents, which head of traffic management, Superintendent John Edwards, said was an "appalling" level of offending.

  • WARWICKSHIRE:

Police carried out 214 breath tests after road collisions between December 18 and January 2. Nine of the tests proved positive and 102 of the cases involved serious injury.

Superintendent Jon Bond, head of the county's traffic unit, said he was "disappointed that a small hard core of irresponsible drivers continue to ignore the law and risk lives".

  • STAFFORDSHIRE:

A total of 1,415 drivers were breathalysed and 70, or 4.9% failed. Twenty of the 70 failures were in collisions.

The force described the figures as "moderately disappointing".

  • HERTFORDSHIRE:

A total of 167 breath tests were given after collision accidents and 20 proved positive, compared with only seven the previous year. There were 78 injuries in these collision incidents.

Hertfordshire Constabulary's Inspector Martin Goss said: "It is very disappointing to see such a rise, but on a more positive note, it is very pleasing to see that the majority of potential drivers made other arrangements instead of driving after having a drink."

  • CAMBRIDGESHIRE:

A police spokesman said 78 drivers were arrested for drink-drive related offences between December 18 and January 2. During the same period a year ago, 92 drink-drive arrests were made.

The force has not disclosed how many people were tested during the campaign. There was an increase in the number of drivers arrested for drink-driving after an accident. During the latest campaign 17 arrests were made, compared with 13 in the same period a year ago.

  • NORTHAMPTONSHIRE:

One in 10 drivers tested was found to be over the limit. Out of 1,086 breathalysed, 108 people recorded positive tests between December 2 and January 2. During the same period over Christmas 1996-97, 82 people had recorded positive tests.

But a spokeswoman said more people had been tested and more officers used during the latest campaign which could account for the increase.

  • GLOUCESTERSHIRE:

Police carried out a total of 1,345 tests overall. There were 66 failures, 15 of them involving road traffic accidents.

  • NORTHERN IRELAND:

A total of 2,064 breath tests were carried out from December 3 to January 2, with 42 motorists failing. This was one more failure than in the previous year, but the percentage of drivers failing was down, as 623 more tests were carried out this year.

Three people died in two accidents where the drivers were suspected of being drunk.

  • DEVON AND CORNWALL:

The force said that over the Christmas holiday period, between December 18 and January 2, it administered 412 breath tests after collisions.

There were 38 positive tests, three people failed to provide one and two refused to do so. Injuries resulted from 106 of the accidents, said the force.

  • KENT:

Of 322 drivers breath tested, 33 were over the legal limit or refused to give a test. This represented 10.25% of the total number.

The published figures apply only to those involved in road accidents. Of the accidents in Kent, 144 resulted in injuries and four people were killed.

  • SCOTLAND:

A total of 199,804 drivers were breath tested from November 28, 1997 to January 5, 1998. Of these, 1,057 tested positive - a failure rate of 0.5% compared with 0.8% the previous year.

  • HUMBERSIDE:

Police administered a total of 74 positive breath tests between December 18 and January 1. The figure compares with 64 for the same period last year. The force also carried 191 breath tests as a result of accidents of which 37 were positive.

  • THAMES VALLEY:

Some 569 drivers were breath tested after accidents, and 60 failed. In Reading, Berkshire, more than half those tested after crashes were found to be over the limit.

Superintendent David McBirney, traffic head at Thames Valley Police, said: "It is clear that despite a huge publicity campaign and our pro-active policing a number of drivers are still drinking and driving. This is regrettable as it means people are putting lives in danger."

  • SURREY:

There were 279 people breath-tested after road accidents between December 18, 1997 and January 2, 1998.

Twenty-one arrests were made - almost double the number the previous year, when just 11 people tested positive over the festive period.

Inspector Mick May, of the Surrey police mobile support division, said: "The figures show that the vast majority of motorists have acted sensibly and heeded the anti drink-drive message, but there is still a hard core who get caught up in the festivities and insist on driving.

"These people give no thought for the consequences of their actions."

  • WEST YORKSHIRE:

A total of 640 breath tests were carried out after road accidents between December 18 and January 2, of which 64 were positive.

  • SUSSEX:

Police in the county were disappointed at drink-drive figures in the county over the Christmas and New Year period. From December 18 to January 2, 2,378 drivers were breath tested and 208 were positive.

This compares with 2,700 being tested last year when 202 were positive. Officers breath tested 306 motorists after road accidents and of those 41 were positive.

Chief Inspector Paul Pearce said a hard core of people were clearly taking no notice of the message that if you drive you should not drink at all.

He said police would continue to target them and added: "It is time they realised drinking and driving will not be tolerated and they run a very high risk of being caught."

  • CLEVELAND:

Officers administered 137 breath tests after road accidents, of which 82 proved positive. Sixty-seven road accidents resulted in injury.

  • METROPOLITAN POLICE:

Officers administered 2,691 breath tests after collisions, with 247 proving positive. A total of 1,525 of the accidents resulted in injury, whether alcohol was a factor or not.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Manning, in charge of traffic and 24-hour policing, said it was too early to compare the figures with those of previous years because they were compiled in a different way.

He said: "This is a road safety initiative and the primary objective of the exercise is to reduce the number of alcohol related collisions, and to that end it is disappointing to see that almost 10% of all tests administered were positive.

"This represents a significant number of drivers who are still prepared to flout the existing drink-drive legislation."

With the current discussions on lowering the limit from 80mg to 50mg, he said, "it would be interesting to consider how many of those whose result was negative would have had a blood alcohol reading of more than 50mg and whose driving was impaired as evidenced by their involvement in a road collision".

  • LINCOLNSHIRE:

A total of 1,524 motorists had breath tests in the county between December 18 and January, resulting in 59 failures. A spokesman said 153 of the tests followed an accident, 16 of which proved positive. A total of 68 incidents resulted in injury.

  • WEST MERCIA POLICE:

A spokesman for the force said 46 drivers out of a total of 468 tested after road accidents had failed a breathalyser. He added that 144 accidents during the crackdown resulted in injury.

Superintendent Trevor McAvoy, head of the force's traffic support unit, said it was "disturbing" that a considerable number of irresponsible drivers continued to put their own and other people's lives at risk.

  • LINCOLNSHIRE:

A total of 1,524 motorists had breath tests in the county between December 18 and January 2, resulting in 59 failures.

A spokesman said 153 of the tests followed an accident, 16 of which proved positive. A total of 68 incidents resulted in injury.

  • WEST MIDLANDS:

West Midlands Police said they were "very disappointed" with the 69 drivers who failed breath tests after being involved in accidents.

A spokesman said 889 drivers were tested after collisions between December 18 and January 2. A total of 279 of the accidents resulted in injury and the failure rate was 7.76%.

Inspector Ray Hartshorne said: "I am very disappointed with these figures. There seems to be a hard core of drivers who will not learn their lesson."

  • NORTH WALES POLICE:

A force spokesman said 43 drivers out of a total of 257 tested after road accidents failed a breathalyser. During the campaign, lasting from December 18 to January 2, 72 collisions resulted in injury.

The spokesman said in north Wales the campaign to crack down on drink driving was in operation all year round.

"We are still disappointed that there is a minority of drivers continuing to ignore the message," he added.

  • HERTFORDSHIRE:

A total of 167 breath tests were given after collision accidents and 20 proved positive, compared with only seven the previous year. There were 78 injuries in these collision incidents.

Hertfordshire Constabulary's Inspector Martin Goss said: "It is very disappointing to see such a rise, but on a more positive note, it is very pleasing to see that the majority of potential drivers made other arrangements instead of driving after having a drink."

  • CAMBRIDGESHIRE:

A police spokesman said 78 drivers were arrested for drink-drive related offences between December 18 and January 2. During the same period a year ago, 92 drink-drive arrests were made.

The force has not disclosed how many people were tested during the campaign.

There was an increase in the number of drivers arrested for drink-driving after an accident. During the latest campaign 17 arrests were made, compared with 13 in the same period a year ago.

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