Drink-driving ‘not a foreign problem’

IN YOUR story about foreign drink drivers you suggest that it is shocking that just over 50% of arrests for drink-driving in South Holland last year were of foreign nationals.

Stated in those terms it is neither shocking nor alarming and more details are needed.

Do the 122 arrests represent an increase or decrease over previous years? If the number has decreased there is no need to be alarmed.

The insinuation of your report is there is some propensity among foreign nationals to commit this advance. The data you have reported does not justify this conclusion.

How does the 50-plus per cent of arrests of foreigners correspond to the percentage of journeys they undertake?

Even your report suggests that the percentage of all drink-drive arrests for this offence in the county in the autumn of 2011 involving foreign nationals was considerably lower; surely this should lead anyone to conclude that the main influence upon the proportion of such arrests is the proportion of journeys within the relevant area undertaken by foreigners.

There is no specific problem of ‘drink-drive foreigners’ unless it can be shown that they are disproportionately likely to be arrested for this offence.

Even if there has been an increase in the number of drink-drive arrests, how does that increase compare to increases in population, journeys and economic activity?

Another distortion is possible because not all drivers are tested for drink-driving everyday. Are police tending to stop cars with foreign number plates more frequently?

Drink-driving is clearly not a new or ‘foreign’ problem. It was occurring for many years before Eastern Europeans came here. There seems to be an ‘issue’ of major concern relating to all drivers in the region.

Mr Freidman

via email