Police winning the drink-drive battle

Drink driving campaign
Drink driving campaign
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A CLAMPDOWN on summer drink driving saw more than a 1,000 more people breathalysed this year compared to last year on the Fylde.

But only 10 additional drivers failed a breath test – which police said proved the message was getting through.

Bosses said their tough stance on drink-driving was paying off and warned enforcement would continue.

Figures released today show in June this year 2,574 drivers were stopped and tested in Western Division which includes Blackpool, Lytham, St Annes and Kirkham – compared to 1,476 last year.

This year 58 people were found to be over the limit, or refused to take the test – compared to 48 last year, meaning a failure rate of 2.3 per cent in 2011 compared to 3.3 per cent in 2010.

Supt Peter O’Dwyer said: “It is reassuring to know the message is getting through to most people and attitudes towards drink driving are changing.

“There does however remains a disproportionate number of people in the under 25 category failing or refusing a test.

“The failure and refusal rate for under 25s was 6.1 per cent compared to a failure rate of 1.5 per cent for over-25s.

“We will continue to work very closely with other agencies in educating this vulnerable group and making sure they clearly understand the dangers of drink driving.

“We take a tough-line against those who persist on driving after drinking or taking drugs. We carry out enforcement activity throughout the year – not just during specific campaigns.”

Check points were set up across the Fylde as part of the campaign.

Across the county as a whole, between June 1 and June 30, 13,032 tests were carried out with 1.9 per cent of people testing positive or refusing to provide a specimen compared to 2.4 per cent for the same period last year.

In Northern division, which covers Wyre and Lancaster, 2,298 tests were carried out in June this year compared to 1,718 in June last year with 43 failures in 2011 compared to 45 in 2010.

In the last year, there were 46 fatal collisions in Lancashire with eight involving drink or drugs.

County Coun Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This shows the value of many years of sustained enforcement by the police.”