Blackpool drink-drive figures worsen

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THE number of festive drink-drivers on Blackpool’s roads has gone up – and police have warned more people are taking risks.

Officers tested more than 2,000 motorists across Blackpool and Fylde as part of its Christmas campaign, with 35 people failing the roadside breath test.

Last year just 24 people failed, and police have said while that is partly down to more tests being conducted, there is a fear drivers are getting “complacent”.

Ch Insp Debbie Howard said: “Drink driving is a problem across the board but there is a raised risk in Blackpool with the amount of pubs and clubs.

“We had 35 people who blew positive breath tests and have been arrested, and that is a 1.6 per cent failure rate which is similar to the rest of the county.

“It is concerning the number of people still failing and we are disappointed that there are still so many people that are choosing to break the law.”

But Ch Insp Howard said the policing operation had been “smarter” this year, with officers breathalysing near pubs and acting on intelligence.

And she said although most people were being caught drink driving immediately after partying, some had been caught still over the limit the morning after.

It led to 2,259 people being tested compared to 2,222 last year, while in the force’s Northern division - which includes Wyre - 500 more people were tested this year, with failures up from 22 to 47 out of the 2,564 breathalysed.

Supt Richard Morgan, from Lancashire Police, said: “The number of people caught drink driving or refusing to provide a specimen has increased this year, which is indicative of our approach to better targeting of offenders.

“However it does highlight that perhaps some motorists are becoming complacent and taking chances.”

Across the whole of Lancashire 18,964 people were stopped and tested, with 281 failing or refusing to provide a sample.

County Coun Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, added: “While the results are very positive, showing most people would never drink and drive, it’s worrying to see there remains a minority who must not realise the significantly higher risks of being involved in a road accident if you drink and drive, and the life-changing consequences this could have for everyone.”

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