Fewer people caught drinking and driving across West Mercia

By Connie Osborne Monday 13 January 2014 Updated: 16/01 19:34

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Buy photos » Breathalysed - police are cracking down on drink drivers across the West Mercia region as part of their wider campaign to reduce motoring-related deaths. (s)

FEWER people were caught drink or drug driving across West Mercia last year, figures have revealed.

Data released by the Safer Roads Partnership has shown a drop in the percentage of people blowing a positive alcohol breath test reading in both random stop checks as well as after a collision in December.

Despite record high numbers of people being tested in West Mercia, only 3.8 per cent of 3,731 people either refused to give a test or showed a positive reading, compared to 4.4 per cent in 2012.

A further 16 people out of 1,062 also failed a breathalyser test or refused to take one after a collision in comparison to 26 last year.

The data also showed over the past three years 184 people were killed or seriously injured in West Mercia and Warwickshire following a collision where someone was under the influence of drink and drugs. An additional 881 suffered slight injuries.

The results follow a campaign by police and the partnership where posters, beermats and leaflets were put in pubs and clubs, as well as adverts on the radio and buses, to remind people about the consequences of drink or drug driving.

It was also supported by a month-long winter drink-drive enforcement campaign launched on December 1 by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Vicki Bristow, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: "Although the percentage drop isn't large, it’s encouraging the number of positive breath tests we are seeing overall and after collisions is steadily reducing however, there are still a significant number of motorists ignoring the simple message that drinking or taking drugs and driving ruins lives."

Supt Lee Davenport of Warwickshire and West Mercia Police said 6,275 breath tests conducted throughout the two areas in December showed their commitment to tackling the problem.

"However despite our many warnings over the festive period and throughout the year there are still far too many irresponsible drivers ignoring the devastating consequences that drinking and driving can cause for them, their family, friends and other road users. "

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