Drink-drive arrests rise

Drink-drive arrests in Nottinghamshire went up in December compared with the previous year, despite a sharp reduction in the number of breath-tests.

A total of 152 people were arrested during the annual Christmas and New Year campaign - seven more arrests the same period in 2010 even though the number of tests reduced from 3,501 in December 2010 to 1,864 in December 2011.

Chief Insp Andy Charlton, force lead for casualty reduction, said: “The fact that a considerably smaller number of tests has resulted in more arrests should be regarded as good news.

“What this shows is that we have been more targeted in our approach to ensure we stop and arrest those whose drink-drive habits arguably present the biggest risk to all other road users.

“There has been a greater willingness on the part of the public to report drivers who they know either have been drinking alcohol or have a tendency to drive under the influence.

“In addition, our officers are using their training and policing instincts to stop more drivers whom they suspect may have been drinking, which is also allowing us to be more focused in our testing regime.

“It has to be remembered that testing has to compete with other policing priorities, even during those periods of the year when we are involved in a concerted campaign of this sort, so anything we do to make our operations more efficient is encouraging.

“We will always carry out a high number of tests each and every year, but drink drive enforcement isn’t simply about trying to do more tests year after year.

“However, it is still a concern that 45 of those people arrested were involved in crashes during December.

“We can’t prevent every crash that happens in Nottinghamshire, but we can try to make people think about the potential consequences of their driving behaviour, whether it be drink-driving, speeding or poor decision-making. That is something we will be raising awareness of throughout 2012.”

A total of 11,895 tests were carried out by officers throughout the whole of 2011, with 1,244 motorists giving positive alcohol readings or refusing to give samples of breath.

That compares with 14,100 tests in 2010 – the highest number ever conducted by the force in a calendar year, resulting in 1,483 arrests.

ENDS