ACPO campaign shows number of drink drivers remains unacceptably high
The association's month-long drink and drug driving summer campaign found that the percentage of drivers found to be over the legal alcohol limit dropped slightly compared to last year but remained unacceptably high.
The figures show that of the 100,853 people stopped by police and breath tested in June, 5,652 (5.6%) tested positive, or refused or failed a breath test. That compares to 5.8% during the same time last year.
Offending by under 25-year-olds was slightly up on last year – from 5.9% in 2009 to 6.4% in 2010 – and the over-25-year-olds who tested positive, refused or failed a test dropped from 5.6% in 2009 to 5.3% this year. The percentage of drivers testing positive following a collision also dropped from 8.2% in 2009 to 7.7% in 2010.
The number of people who failed a field impairment test to check for drugs also fell from just over one third in 2009 to 22.3% in 2010.
ACPO lead on roads policing chief constable Mick Giannasi said: 'While it is pleasing to see that the number of reported collisions was down on last year, alcohol continues to be a major cause of death and injury on our roads. The cost of this is immense, not only in human terms, but also in terms of the financial impact. It is estimated that the cost of each fatal collision is £1.9 million and the cost of a serious injury collision is £188K.
The AA also expressed its concern over the results.
Edmund King, AA president, said: 'It is worrying that 5,652 drivers were willing to play Russian roulette with their lives and the lives of others by driving over the drink drive limit in June. Hot summer nights, BBQs and the World Cup are no excuse for this reckless behaviour.
'Responsible drivers support the police efforts in targeting drunk drivers and we hope these efforts will continue despite threatened cuts to police funding.'
He added: 'We hope that some of the recommendations from the North report on drug driving can be implemented as soon as possible to make the police role in targeting drug drivers easier.'