Greater Manchester Police (GMP) arrested 51 more motorists during this year’s Christmas Drink Drive campaign than in December 2011*, despite carrying out fewer breath tests.
The figure shows that the tactic of using intelligence to target suspected offenders has worked.
During the crackdown, which ran from 1 December 2012 – 1 January 2013, officers across the region carried out 11,230 breath tests which saw 464 people arrested for drink driving.
This means that 4.1 per cent of drivers breathalysed tested positive, which is up from 3.5 per cent last year.
Of those arrested, 78 were involved in collisions, which is the same number as last year, and six people were arrested for drug driving following roadside impairment tests, which is down by 28 compared to December 2011.
The work formed part of GMP’s road safety campaign, Dicing with Death, which was set up after 75 people lost their lives on the roads of Greater Manchester in 2011, a 42 per cent increase on the previous year.
The campaign is helping to reduce deaths so far, with 22 fewer victims between 1 February and 31 October 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, a drop of 38 per cent.
The drink drive crackdown also formed part of Operation Advent, which was GMP’s response to tackling the potential spikes in crime in the run up to Christmas.
Inspector John Armfield, GMP’s lead on drink driving, said: “Our determination to target those suspected of drink driving has paid dividends this year, as the increase in arrests shows, and I would urge the public to continue to provide us with information on offenders, as doing so can help to save lives.
“Of course it’s not just during Christmas and New Year that drink driving is a problem, and the advice to motorists remains the same throughout the year – if you are having a drink, do not drive. Make alternative arrangements to get home, as that way you won't endanger anyone’s life on the road, including your own.
“Words cannot describe the enormous impact on bereaved families who lose loved ones through drink or drug driving, and we will continue to do all we can to bring down the number of casualties.”
* Note: In December 2011, police conducted 11,855 breath tests resulting in 413 arrests for drink driving. Of these, 78 involved collisions where the driver was found to be over the limit, and 34 people were arrested for drug driving following impairment tests.
Police are reminding motorists that:
• Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive
• There is no fool-proof way of drinking and staying under the limit
• The amount and type of alcoholic drink and your weight, sex, age and metabolism will all play their part
• Sobering up tricks do not work
• If you have been out drinking the night before you may still be over the limit the next day
If you're convicted of drink driving:
• You'll have a criminal record
• You won't be allowed to drive for at least a year
• You could lose your job
• You will have higher insurance costs
• Your driving licence will be endorsed for 11 years