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Drink driving - getting the message across - 30 July 2015

Figures from the recent Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police drink drive campaign show the message is getting through to the majority of drivers.

Those being stopped for breath tests across both forces and testing positive for alcohol remains low at around 6% in both areas. In total 220 people across Warwickshire and West Mercia were arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs; 69 of those were arrested under the new drug driving legislation that came into force in March this year.

The Safer Roads Partnership, Warwickshire Police, West Mercia Police and Warwickshire County Council all teamed up over June to warn people of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Drink and drug driving offences typically increase during the summer with more opportunity for people to think they can risk mixing drinking with driving. The campaign material was distributed to local licensed premises and aimed to raise awareness of the consequences of driving after drinking.

Enforcement of drink drive offences over June was a key priority for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police and roadside checks were carried out at all times of the day and night and on all types of road.

Over the past three years, 118 people have been killed or seriously injured in West Mercia and 78 in Warwickshire as a result of collisions involving drink or drugs. Of particular concern is those motorists aged between 17 and 30; Just over 64% of drivers involved in collisions causing death or serious injury involving drink or drugs were aged 17-30, of which around 87% were male.

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership says: "A total of 2564 breath tests were administered throughout June over Warwickshire and West Mercia, showing the commitment both forces have to tackling this problem. Further analysis is being done on the data we have collected to see what areas need to be focused on for further campaigns. Our message is simple and continues to be 'Don't drink and drive - it's not worth the risk.'"

Chief Inspector Adrian Knight, Force Operations Department, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said:
"Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for both forces and our recent enforcement activity on both reflects this. It is encouraging that we are only talking to a minority of drivers but there is more work to be done as there are still far too many irresponsible drivers ignoring the consequences that drinking and driving can cause for them, their family, friends and other road users. Enforcing the drink / drug driving law is a year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week activity for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police and, together with the new roadside testing capability we have for drug driving offences, this will continue to be a priority throughout the rest of 2015".