Cambridgeshire has the worst drink drive rate in Britain - and May bank holidays are when most culprits are likely to be caught

PUBLISHED: 09:30 01 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:30 01 May 2017

Archant

Cambridgeshire is the worst county in Britain for the number of people who get behind the wheel of their car after drinking too much, figures reveal.

The number could be high as one in three people who either tested positive or refused to give a breath sample at the roadside.

May is even worse than the run up to Christmas for people being tempted to drink drive, according to new figures, and as the bank holiday weekend approaches, drivers are being urged to think twice.

Jo Cox, motor product manager at Admiral, said: “It may come as a surprise that May is the month where the highest percentage of people test positive for drink-driving and not the festive season.

“As the temperature rises and we see a succession of bank holidays drivers are risking flouting the law and getting behind the wheel after drinking.”

As well as the risk to other people on the road, being caught over the limit comes with serious consequences, including up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine and a driving ban of at least one year, she said.

Many insurers won’t insure someone with a drink-driving conviction or their premiums increasing by more than 250 per cent, she said.

“It’s clear that this crime is taken very seriously. These statistics are proof that if you break the law, you will be caught.”

Roger Singer, of drug and alcohol road safety charity, DDE+ added: “In December there are more planned events such as Christmas dos, where people know not to take the car.

“In the summer and bank holidays that lead up to it, there are more impromptu gatherings such as barbecues, where people don’t realise how much they are drinking or how long it takes for it to leave their system.

“The morning after is often a time when people get caught out.

“Even the smallest amount of alcohol will affect how you drive. The only way to be really safe is to avoid drinking altogether when you know you are taking the car.”

Cambridgeshire, Kent and Northamptonshire were the police forces who caught the highest percentage of offenders.

• From the 27 (out of 45) force areas that provided comparable data over the three-year period, nearly one million drivers were stopped and asked to conduct a breathalyser test.

• In May, a total of 62,761 were stopped. The figures show that Cambridgeshire, Kent and Northamptonshire caught the highest percentage of offenders – with those drivers either giving positive breathalyser tests or refusing to give a sample.

• Cambridgeshire 36.5 per cent.

• Kent 26.0 per cent.

• Northamptonshire 21.6 per cent.

• Hertfordshire 19.7 per cent.

• Suffolk 19.4 per cent.

• Lincolnshire 10.9 per cent.

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