Police disappointed by drink-drive rise

A POLICE chief has spoken of his disappointment after a Christmas clampdown revealed the percentage of motorists caught drink driving over the festive period has risen compared to last year.

A POLICE chief has spoken of his disappointment after a Christmas clampdown revealed the percentage of motorists caught drink driving over the festive period has risen compared to last year.

Chief Inspector Alan Pawsey, head of the county's Road Policing Unit, spoke out yesterday as Suffolk Constabulary released its latest drink drive statistics.

The figures show that 122 out of 1,991 motorists tested positive for driving under the influence of alcohol between December 1 and December 28 - a total of 6.10%.

This compares to the 15 day campaigns in the four previous years with 5.2% testing positive last year, 8.5% in 2003/4, 6.3% in 2002/3 and 5.9% in 2001/2.


You may also want to watch:


A total 2,001 tests were requested by officers so far this month but 10 were declined and there were 1,869 negative results as well as four positive drugs tests.

When broken down further the figures show that of the people who tested positive 16 were involved in injury collisions, 15 in non-injury collisions, 25 were stopped for traffic offences, 61 because they were suspected of driving under the influence and five because police had a tip off from members of the public.

Most Read

Mr Pawsey said: “We extended the campaign for two weeks this year but disappointingly it does look as if more people are drinking and driving.

“However having said this we had 2,001 tests, with 122 positives and 10 refusals, so it is pretty good going and I am pleased with the police response.

“It is just frustrating that people still think it is acceptable to get behind a wheel after they have had a drink - they just don't seem to be getting the message.

“The campaign is very much one for the whole year and we will continue to clampdown well into 2006. “We have a big night still ahead of us and I would urge people to plan their New Years Eve journeys early so they can get home safely.”

Carole Whittingham, from the Campaign Against Drink Driving, said the increase was a trend that had been witnessed throughout the country.

“It is quite a big gain but unfortunately it is a rise that we are seeing across England,” she said. “So far over the last three or four days, having spoken to police forces, nowhere has gone down.

“It is obviously a huge concern but it is it difficult to know why it has happened. I think it's probably several issues but especially the binge drinking culture that we have in this country.

“Relaxation of the drinking laws has not helped matters and there seems a complete change to 10 years ago when very few people would get behind the wheel after a drink.”

The final figures for the festive period are due out on January 4 and will include all data for Christmas and the New Year.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter