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Saturday, 04 July 2015

Cumbria police slam drink-drivers

FIGURES released following Cumbria Constabulary's blitz on drink-driving last month have revealed nearly three in every 100 people tested were drunk behind the wheel.

The crackdown, which ran throughout December, saw 2,865 people in Cumbria tested of which 2367 were tested as a result of road side checks and 498 were administered following a collision.

The total number of people who either tested positive, failed or refused to provide a test was 82, which equates to 2.8 per cent. Of those tested, 24 were following a collision.

In the same period in 2012, 3,345 breath tests were conducted, of which 88 either positive or failed or refused. Of the tests which were positive, 33 followed a collision.

Sergeant Joanne Walker, who led the campaign, said: “The number of people who were stopped and tested was slightly lower this year, which could be an indication that there were less drivers on the road who officers suspected to be driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.

“However, it is still disappointing that 2.8 per cent of those who were stopped were found to be under the influence of alcohol.

"We cannot over emphasise the risk that people take with their lives and the lives of other road users when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

The campaign also focused on drivers under the age of 25, following last year's figures for the whole of the county which showed drivers aged between 20 and 24 failed more breath tests than any other age group.

In Cumbria, those who were stopped during this campaign, 627 where aged under 25 and 21 drivers tested positive or failed or refused a test. The remaining 2238, who were over 25, 61 of those tested positive, failed or refused a test.

Sergeant Walker continued: “To see 3.3 per cent of those under the age of 25 driving whilst under the influence of alcohol is shocking.

While is appears to be a low figure, it is still 21 drivers who were willing to take a risk at ruining their lives.

“In 2013 we will continue to target drink and drug drivers in an effort to make our roads as safe as possible."

Cumbria’s police and crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes, said: “There is no excuse for people to drink and drive and put their own and other people’s lives at risk.

“It is good that the number of positive breath tests has reduced but it is disappointing that the number of young people providing positive breath tests is still so high.

“By working together we will really tackle the issue of drink driving and I would urge members of the public to contact the police if you are suspicious so that we can all enjoy the roads in Cumbria safely.”

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