Drink driving arrests fall

21 January 2010, 13:20 | Updated: 27 January 2010, 07:37

There's been a drop in the number of drink- and drug- drive arrests in Oxfordshire over Christmas.

Seventy five people gave positive breathtests to police in the county during December 2009, compared to 86 in the same month the year before.  That's even though police carried out 20% more breathtests - a total of just over 1,300.

Across the Thames Valley, the number of positive tests during the annual Christmas campaign fell from 299 in December 2008 to 257 in December 2009.

Sergeant Chris Appleby from Thames Valley Police Roads Policing Department said: "The results of this campaign have been very encouraging. We have carried out a great many more tests on drivers across the Force area than in previous years and seen the number of positive tests fall considerably.

“There do however remain a minority who fail to get the message that it is totally unacceptable to drink and drive. Roadside breath tests are carried out throughout the year and not just at Christmas. If anyone is thinking of driving under the influence of alcohol they should think twice."

Drivers who test positive or refuse or fail to provide a breathtest face losing their licence for at least a year.  They may also have to go to prison for six months or pay a fine of up to £5,000.

Positive breath tests - [2008] 2009 (% change)

Oxfordshire - [86] 75 (-13%)
Buckinghamshire - [51] 40 (-22%)
Milton Keynes - [46] 35 (-24%)
Berkshire West - [46] 58 (+26%)
Berkshire East - [70] 49 (-30%)

Thames Valley Total - [299] 257 (-14%)