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Summer drinking and driving purge targets South Holland

South Holland has a chance to shed its unwanted title as the drink drive capital of Lincolnshire after the start of a summer road safety campaign.

Targeted patrols are taking place across the area to catch drivers who get behind a wheel after having a drink, with estimates from Lincolnshire Police that 80 per cent of breath tests prove positive for alcohol or drugs.

Law enforcement authorities, including Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones, were shocked by figures recently which showed that the number of drivers from South Holland involved in crashes where alcohol was a factor was 15 per cent higher than for Lincolnshire's six other districts.

Sergeant Mike Alford (pictured right), force lead for fatal and serious collision at Lincolnshire Police, said: "Drink driving is an anti-social offence so people are quite happy to report it to the police and they are on-side with this sort of campaign.

"But a motorist who is stopped by police often asks 'why aren't you out catching real criminals like murderers, rapists and burglars?'

"The sad reality is that, in Lincolnshire, you are more likely to be involved and injured in a road traffic collision than you are to be a victim of serious crime."

According to Oxfordshire-based Road Safety Analysis Ltd, whose findings were released at a road safety summit in Grantham last November organised by Mr Jones, more than 200 people from South Holland were involved in drink or drug-related crashes between 2012 and 2016.

This compared with less than 100 from South Kesteven, including the Deepings and Bourne, nearly 160 from Boston Borough (Kirton, Swineshead and Wyberton) and a national average of 100 for the same period.

Sergeant Alford, who is based at Spalding Police Station, said: "When you look at South Holland as a whole, there appears to be a disproportionate number of driversfrom eastern European countries who give positive breath tests.

"Therefore, we try and educate then through posters in their own languages about drink driving.

"Research shows that if you drink or use drugs and drive, you are 23 times more likely to have a serious collision."

Speaking at the start of the campaign on Monday, June 4, Mr Jones said: "I am shocked by the need for campaigns to highlight the risks of drink and drug driving, given the horrific number of collisions, serious injuries and deaths on our roads involving drivers who are under the influence.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones at last November's road safety summit in Grantham.Photo by Graham Newton. (2428617)
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones at last November's road safety summit in Grantham.Photo by Graham Newton. (2428617)

“The sad fact is that for some, the risk of getting caught, losing their licence and possibly their job will work better than the risk of losing their life or taking that of an innocent person.

“It is for those irresponsible and selfish residents from within our community that this proactive stance must be taken to protect us all.

"I wholeheartedly support this campaign and know that for every intoxicated person removed from our roads lives may well have been saved.”

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