Minor success for police’s drink-drive festive campaign

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THE number of drink and drug-drivers on Lincolnshire’s roads over the festive period appears to have “stagnated”, according to the county’s Road Safety Partnership.

Almost 4,400 drivers were stopped throughout December as part of the month-long campaign of highly visible patrols in early morning, evening and at night.

A total of 143 arrests were made – up by just four from last year – including five people who refused to give a sample.

John Siddle, communications manager at Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “We are surprised that they have stagnated. However, looking at the trend since 2004, we are seeing a slight decrease and given we see a one per cent increase of traffic each year there has been some success.

“We are always mindful as to whether the people who were caught drinking saw any of our campaign so, as we always do, we will evaluate the effectiveness and when those who attend drink drive rehabilitation courses give us the feedback, we will have a better understanding of how we can reach this vulnerable group.”

Initial results show fewer drivers were tested last month but more failed the test compared to the same period in December 2010.

More men were stopped and asked to take a breath test than women – with the 25 to 34 age group being stopped the most. They represented 17 per cent of the 4,394 motorists stopped.

Last year, the 25 to 34 group, along with those aged 35 to 44, were stopped equally as much. The two age groups both made up 21 per cent of the 4,408 people stopped and asked to take a test in 2010.

Mr Siddle said Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership’s high-profile campaigning against drink-driving will continue.

He added: “The spectre of drink-driving is always upon us and whilst tougher sentences are one way to deal with it, education and awareness must play a part too.

“We have to look at the reasons as to why people drink and drive and if we can address these problems then we may just make the roads of Lincolnshire safer for all.”