Figures published on Thursday 1 August reveal that across Cheshire, 112 motorists were arrested as part of a month long operation, which ran from 1 June to tackle drink driving. Men under 30 continue to be the main offenders but with arrests down by 28% on June last year this shows a move in the right direction.
Assistant Chief Constable, Ruth Purdie said, "The outcome of the 2013 summer drink driving campaign shows the excellent work, and tenacity of our officers in keeping our roads safe. By stepping up enforcement measures, this has allowed us to take a hard line to drink and drug driving by identifying those motorists who are still not heeding our warnings."
The summer campaign was heightened this year, with a further 91 blood alcohol tests carried out by the roadside. Compared with the same period last year, more people were breathalysed than in 2012 but fewer arrests were made (1,926 alcohol tests in June 2012 resulting in 156 arrests).
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer said: "It’s clear that whilst certain people across Cheshire have ignored the ‘don’t drink or drug drive message’, I’m delighted to see that lots of people have taken heed and listened. This is shown in the number of drink drive arrests being down in the county. One of my aims is to make Cheshire’s roads safer by reducing road traffic collisions, fatalities and serious injuries that still occur on our roads. I’m heartened by the fact that this message is hitting home."
Drivers were also tested for being under the influence of drugs. Across Cheshire, 18 drug driving (or field impairment) tests were carried out and 7 arrests made.
Dave Murray, Road Safety Officer said in relation to this, "many young people I speak to genuinely believe that certain drugs - mainly cannabis and stimulants make you a safer driver; this is a myth. The reality is that taking drugs and attempting to drive carries serious consequences. Drugs, like alcohol, have the capacity to distort your perception of things in all kinds of ways. One thing is certain, they definitely do not enhance your ability to carry out the complex task of driving, and they only make it more difficult and dangerous"
Drink driving is a 365 days a year issue for Cheshire Police which is why targeted enforcements are not just limited to national ‘anti-drink driving’ campaigns. A crash car is also taken out to events across Cheshire to educate the public − called the ‘Think’ car - it is a badly damaged vehicle which was involved in a collision in which a young driver was killed. This summer’s anti-drink drive focused on young people under 25, but also those who attend drink fuelled events such as barbecues and then drive home − often with passengers in the car.
A digitally led campaign has been launched by the police called ‘don’t treat your passengers like dummies’ − targeted at young people but to raise awareness to the dangers of driving irresponsibly whilst passengers are in the car. If you would like to read more about this, please visit cheshire.police.uk
An iPhone enabled Cheshire App has now been launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner which includes a reporting tool so that the general public can report drink drivers. Please visit www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk
Roadside breath tests 2017 tests across Cheshire This breaks down to Eastern 259, Northern 273 and Western 253, HQ (Motorway, ARV's and Motorcycle Unit) 1232 Arrests by area: Cheshire East – 32, Halton – 14, Warrington – 22, Cheshire West and Chester – 38, Motorways - 6 Arrests by locality: Congleton – 8, Crewe – 9, Knutsford – 5, Macclesfield – 5, Nantwich – 1, Wilmslow – 4 Runcorn – 9, Warrington – 22, Widnes – 5 Chester – 9, Ellesmere Port – 9, Northwich – 8, Western Rural – 10, Winsford – 2