Fewer drink drivers caught in Cambs Xmas campaign

THE number of motorists breathalysed during the Christmas drink drive campaign increased five fold last year.

The festive campaign ran throughout December and saw 6,547 motorists breathalysed, compared to 1,301 breathalysed in 2009.

Despite the huge increase in tests there was a small reduction in the number of arrests: 121 arrests compared to 123 the previous year (2009).

This included 33 in the Huntingdonshire and Fenland area compared to 43 in 2009.

Pc Tony Barrios, casualty reduction officer, said: “It’s encouraging to see that despite the large increase in the number of motorists breathalysed we have seen a reduction in arrests.

“Sadly, any arrest is one too many and the fact that 121 people were caught driving over the influence is unacceptable.

“These motorists may think they are safe to drive but they are mistaken. Each time someone gets behind the wheel and drives under the influence they are not only risking their own life but also the lives of others.”

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Motorists stopped during the campaign were asked if they would be willing to provide a breath test. Of those tested, 2 per cent were arrested for driving under the influence, compared to 9 per cent of those tested the previous year.

Pc Barrios added: “The purpose of the voluntary breath tests is to provide us with a clear picture of how many people are driving over the limit.

“This work was not just about enforcement but reminding motorists that officers are on the roads 24/7 as a deterrent to those contemplating driving under the influence.

“The force breathalysed a record number of motorists and we hope that those people who took part went home and told their friends and family, helping us to spread the message that driving under the influence will not be tolerated.”