Wiltshire Police made 68 arrests over suspected drink/drug driving offences between 1 December 2015 and 3 January 2016. This compares with 54 over the same period in 2014.
Sergeant Gavin Brewster, of the Wiltshire Road Safety Unit, said: “68 positive results are significantly higher on last year which saw a total of 54 positives or fail to provide a sample.”
“This clearly shows the drink/drug driving message is still not being listened to and acted on by all. This figure is very disappointing but Wiltshire Police would like to thank members of the public for calling in and working with the police to help get these drink and drug drivers off of the road.”
• 728 people were stopped and had breath tests administered
• 68 people were arrested for providing a positive breath test/failing to provide a sample
• 18 were found to have a positive breath test/failed to provide a sample following a road traffic collision
• 16 who failed the breath test were aged under 25 years
• 24 people were screened at the roadside for suspected drug use of which 10 were positive or failed to provide a sample and were arrested.
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “One of the key things I always want to ensure is that the Force keeps our roads safe. I am disappointed to see that the year-on-year figures for December drink and drug driving have increased.”
“I would like to commend Wiltshire Police officers for their vigilance and the vast majority of drivers who have behaved responsibly over the festive season. My plan sets the priority of reducing casualties through education and patrols.”
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable, Mike Veale, said: “Drinking to excess or taking drugs when driving is simply unacceptable at any time of the year and our efforts to catch offenders will not cease. The best advice we can give drivers is not to drink or take illegal drugs at all. The penalties are significant and if the worst happened and someone died as a result of drink/drug driving, the driver would be facing a prison sentence. It is just not worth the risk.”
Anyone wishing to report an incident of drink/drug driving should call Wiltshire Police on 101 and select option 4 for the Drink Drive Hotline.
In an emergency, dial 999.
Or report a crime completely anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555111