Latest figures from Greater Manchester Police’s summer drink drive clampdown show that they breath tested and arrested a third more drivers in June this year than they did in June 2011.
Officers breath tested 7,236 drivers in this year’s month-long clampdown compared to 5,420 last year and arrested 445 against 349 respectively for being over the limit.
The proportion of tests carried out to those proving positive has decreased slightly but remained roughly around six per cent.
Though officers anticipated a possible increase in drink driving over the month linked to increased alcohol consumption during the Jubilee extended Bank Holiday and the Euro 2012 football tournament these failed to materialize.
However they warn that they will continue to target drink drivers over the summer months and urge people to avoid drink driving or face the consequences.
This increased policing focus on drink driving is a part of Operation Dice launched earlier this year in response to a shocking increase in road deaths in 2011 when 75 people lost their lives on the roads of Greater Manchester. This was an increase of 42 per cent on the previous year and reversed a long term downward trend in road deaths.
Under Operation Dice Greater Manchester Police is working to increase public awareness of the ‘fatal four’ factors that feature in most road accidents ie drink driving, speeding, drivers using mobile phones and drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts.
It also tackles drivers putting their own lives and that of their passengers and road users at risk through dangerous driving and flouting road safety laws.
Inspector Martin O’Connor from GMP’s Roads Policing Unit said: “Shockingly 75 people lost their lives on the roads of our county last year with many others suffering serious injuries that will blight their lives for years. Some will never fully recover from these injuries and be physically and emotionally scarred for life.
“Each death brings devastation and anguish to the lives of loved ones left behind that often stays with them for a lifetime.
“These are the real costs of drink driving, the things that people should consider before getting behind the wheel after having a drink.
Though being caught drink driving or driving dangerously can lead to fines, penalty points, disqualification and up to 14 years imprisonment for causing a death these costs pale into insignificance compared to the horrific injuries and deaths these thoughtless actions can lead to.
“The increase in road fatalities in 2011 is of real concern to all GMP officers and we are committed to making the roads safer for all users in the coming years.
“We will continue scouring the roads of Greater Manchester for drink and dangerous drivers over the coming months to stop them putting their own lives and those of other road users at risk.
“Our message is simple and clear – if you have a drink, for everyone’s sake please don’t drive.”
Karen Delaney from DriveSafe, Greater Manchester’s Casualty Reduction Partnership added: “Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. There is no fool proof way of drinking and staying under the limit or of knowing how much someone can drink and still drive safely.
“What you drink, how much, how quickly and your weight, sex, age and metabolism all play a part. The simple fact is you cannot calculate your alcohol limit so it is best to have ‘none for the road’.
“Greater Manchester has a fantastic public transport network and lots of cabs so please use them rather than risking your life and that of other road users.”