More than one in ten motorists subjected to a roadside breath test to determine blood-alcohol levels failed the test over the Christmas 2012 period in Staffordshire.
Staffordshire Police carried out a total of 1,721 roadside breath tests throughout December and early January, and of this number 192 were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving; An 11.2% failure rate.
Compare this figure to the rate of Christmas 2011, when out of 2,320 drivers tested, only 150 proved positive- a failure rate of just 6.47%- and the cause for concern becomes clear.
Staffordshire Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis has praised the efforts of the police force, and called the operation a success, saying: “There has been a big drive to encourage people to tell the police when they believe someone is drink driving. This has been massively successful. Better intelligence has led to more people being caught… I am content with that.”
Of this total figure, it is unclear how many passed the secondary test at the Police Station, or how many simply refused to take the test, which is classed as as much of an offence as being over the legal limit of 35 BAC (Blood-Alcohol Content). However the dramatic rise in failed tests should act as a warning to all drivers to never consider drink-driving, especially during the Christmas period when a crack-down is in operation on drink-drivers.
More than half a million breath tests are carried out each year, and an average of 100,000 are found to be positive. The most responsible group are men aged 17-29. On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in alcohol-related vehicle collisions, and nearly 1 in 6 of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit. If you are caught driving or attempting to drive under the influence, you could be subject to a £5,000 fine, a minimum 12 months driving ban, and 6 months imprisonment. And that is without even a collision; causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison, at least 2 years driving ban, and a requirement to pass an extended driving test before being legally allowed to drive a car again.
So if you’re going to have a drink, leave the keys at home. Make the choice; Not a mistake.
Safe driving from Britannia!