Drink/Drive Arrests Up On Last Christmas

The number of people arrested during this year's Christmas drink and drug driving campaign has increased by almost 50% compared to last year's campaign.

A total of 133 people were arrested during the campaign – which ran from Thursday 1 December 2011 to Sunday 1 January 2012. This is an increase of 48% compared to last year's campaign, where 90 people were arrested.

Of the 133 people arrested during this year's campaign, 113 were men and 20 were women.

Over one third of all the people arrested – 45 drivers – were men under the age of 30.

A total of 31 drivers were arrested during the month-long campaign after they had been involved in a collision.

During the Christmas campaign there was an increase in traffic patrols and road-side checks. Also, every driver involved in a collision was breath tested, irrespective of whether they were suspected of drink driving or not.

Traffic Inspector, Matt Butler, said:

"It is extremely disappointing that so many drivers risked their lives, and the lives of other road users, by choosing to drink and drive over the festive season.

"The number of Christmas drink and drug driving arrests has decreased year-on-year since 2006, so this increase is clearly disappointing.

"It is particularly concerning to see that the number of young drivers arrested during the campaign is so high. Of all the drivers
arrested during the campaign, 43% were under the age of 30."

During this year's campaign, officers acted on information submitted by the public to intercept suspected drink drivers on Dorset's roads.

Inspector Butler continued:

"Throughout the campaign, we received excellent support from the public informing us of suspected drink drivers.

"I want to thank everyone that contacted Dorset Police to report a suspected drink driver. I'd encourage the public to continue
to inform us by dialling 999 if they believe someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"Four of the 18 fatalities that have occurred on Dorset's roads over the past year were drink or drug driving related, which shows just how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel when you're under the influence.

"Officers detached to the 'no excuse' project also supported this year's Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, and they were responsible for a number of arrests."