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Drink-driving figures show big increase

PUBLISHED: 09:27 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 07:53 01 August 2010

THE number of motorists caught drinking and driving on Suffolk's roads over the festive season has increased dramatically from the year before.

Suffolk police's month-long crackdown started on December 1 2008 and saw officers conduct 3,858 breath tests, of which 8pc were positive - up from 3pc of tests being positive in December 2007.

THE number of motorists caught drinking and driving on Suffolk's roads over the festive season has increased dramatically from the year before.

Suffolk police's month-long crackdown started on December 1 2008 and saw officers conduct 3,858 breath tests, of which 8pc were positive - up from 3pc of tests being positive in December 2007.

This means that in December, an average of 10 motorists were caught drinking and driving every day during the campaign.

Deputy chief constable Jacqui Cheer, who is vice-chair of the Suffolk Roadsafe Board, said: “These results show a dramatic and disappointing rise in the number of people who are willing to risk their own lives and the lives of others by drink driving.

“This is of great concern, but should also act as a warning - if you drink and drive, you will get caught. It is hard to believe that people are continuing to take such a huge risk. The message is simple - if you've had a drink, don't drive.”

Half the number of people tested gave an alcohol reading of two or more times the legal limit, which is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

A total of 703 breath tests were conducted following a road traffic collision and 11.2pc (79 tests) gave a positive reading. The failure rate among females was 4pc, and 9.2pc among males. The failure rate in the 18-30 age group was 8.9pc, falling to 5.6pc for the 31-45 age group and 3.6pc for the over 45s.

The month-long Christmas drink drive campaign was part of a wider road safety programme which ran from September 1 to December 31 and saw 1,711 people caught not wearing a seatbelt, 525 using mobile phones while driving and 1,290 motorists speeding.

Norfolk Police said it was still waiting for its figures to be verified by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

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