Almost 2000 drivers tested in Gwent in drink drive campaign
5:10pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News
GWENT police officers tested 1935 drivers as part of the 2012 All Wales Winter Anti Drink/Drug Drive Campaign.
During the four-week period in Gwent, 39 people tested positive, refused or failed to provide a sample.
The campaign ran from 1st December 2012 to 1st January 2013 across Wales, with 35,000 drivers tested across the country.
The large number breath tests administered during the campaign resulted in 502 across Wales being positive, failed or refused, a drop of 43 compared to 2011.
The under-25 age group remains the same with 142 young drivers being arrested.
The campaign which was led by South Wales Police was launched in November 2012 and their road safety manager Wayne Tucker said: “Although there has been a marked increase in testing across Wales, it is still disappointing to see that some drivers are continuing to risk their lives and those of others by consuming alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle”
“It is evident from the results that a majority of drivers across Wales are responsible and law abiding, however it is still disappointing to see a minority who are continuing to ignore the law”.
“It cannot be stressed highly enough that any amount of drugs or alcohol can impair a person’s ability to judge speed and distance, and inevitably endanger the lives of other motorists” Mr Tucker said.
“Our continued message is plain and simple whatever the time of year drug and drink driving will not be tolerated, and that we will continue to treat these offences as socially unacceptable as well as a criminal offence”.
COMMENT: Not worth the risk
IT IS alarming that some motorists still drink and drive.
Even though only two per cent of drivers stopped by Gwent Police during the annual Christmas crackdown failed or refused to take a breath test, it is clear some drivers still believe it is either worth the risk or acceptable to drink and then get behind the wheel.
Police say they took a ‘more targeted’ approach to breath tests over the festive period and it is interesting that most tests were carried out following information received from the public.
It is clear drink-driving is now so socially unacceptable that people are prepared to call the police if they believe someone is driving while over the limit.
That is how it should be. A drink-driver under arrest, even if it is a family member or friend, is better than someone killing themselves or others.
The worry is that fewer breath tests were carried out but a higher percentage of drink-drivers were caught.
While this is perhaps inevitable when, rather than random breath tests, stops are made in the light of information received; it is clear there are a hardcore of motorists still prepared to drink and drive.
These people are common criminals at best and potential killers at worst.
The more help the police receive to keep these drivers off our roads the better.