Essex witnesses a drop in drink drivers by over 30 per cent

ESSEX Police have announced a 31 per cent reduction in the number of drink drivers arrested during the 2010 Christmas campaign.

Officers were out in force across the county between December 1 and January 1, 2011 taking a zero tolerance approach “to those who put lives at risk by choosing to drink or take drugs and drive”.

Of the 5279 drivers stopped and breathalysed during that period, a total of 181 (3.4 per cent) were found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit or refused or failed to provide a sample.

Of those found to be over the limit, 149 (82 per cent) were men and 32 (18 per cent) were women. A total of 50 (28 per cent) were aged under 25 and 131 (72 per cent) were aged 25 and over.

During the 2009 campaign, of the 5284 drivers tested, 261 (4.9 per cent) drivers tested positive, refused or failed to provide a sample.

Essex Police deals with drink driving robustly 365 days a year but stepped up road checks in towns with bustling night time economies and rural areas during the campaign.

Residents were kept up to date with how many people had been arrested for drink driving with a graph and totaliser on the Essex Police website They were also encouraged to tell Crimestoppers anonymously about people they know who regularly chose to drink and drive.

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In 2010, 122 people were seriously injured or injured as a result of a driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Casualty reduction manager for Essex Police Adam Pipe said: “Although our Christmas anti-drink drive campaign has come to an end, this does not signify an end to our efforts to bring irresponsible drivers to justice. We will not tolerate drink or drug driving and deal with it robustly 365 days a year.

“I am disappointed that some drivers consider themselves above the law and will put themselves, friends, family and other road users at risk by getting behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Drink driving ruins lives all year round. This isn’t just a message for Christmas, it’s one for every day of the year. Think about the consequences. You could face imprisonment and the prospect of having to live with the guilt of taking a live for the rest of yours. Don’t take the risk.”