Huge rise in Christmas drink-driving

THE number of motorists caught drink-driving on Suffolk's roads in December rocketed by 230%, it has emerged.

THE number of motorists caught drink-driving on Suffolk's roads in December rocketed by 230%, it has emerged.

Officers carried out 3,858 breath tests last month, catching 310 drivers, compared to 3069 tests and 94 motorists caught in December 2007.

Deputy Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer, who is vice-chair of the Suffolk Roadsafe Board, said: “These results show a dramatic and disappointing rise in the number of people who are willing to risk their own lives and the lives of others by drink driving.

“This is of great concern, but should also act as a warning - if you drink and drive, you will get caught. With almost 800 more people being breath tested in December '08 compared to the year before, it is more likely than ever that you will be stopped.

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“It is hard to believe that people are continuing to take such a huge risk. The message is simple: if you've had a drink, don't drive.”

Half the number of people who failed the breath test gave an alcohol reading of two or more times the legal limit, which is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

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703 breath tests were conducted following a road traffic collision, and 79 gave a positive reading.

The failure rate amongst females was 4%, and 9.2% amongst males.

The month-long Christmas drink drive campaign is part of a wider road safety campaign supported by Suffolk Roadsafe.

Between 1st September 2008 and 31st December 2008, officers caught 1711 people not wearing a seatbelt, 525 motorists using their mobile phones and 1290 drivers speeding.

Mrs Cheer said: “Working with our Suffolk Roadsafe partners, we are extremely committed to combating all anti-social use of the county's roads.

“In turn, this will help prevent the tragic loss of life and serious injuries, which are often caused by motorists disregarding the law.

“Officers will be continuing to stop and take action against anyone committing an offence, so be warned… you will be caught.”

Anyone who suspects someone they know of drink-driving is asked to report them immediately to the police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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