More drivers breathalysed, but fewer tested positive during Christmas crackdown.

Fewer motorists were caught drink driving during a Christmas crackdown by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Figures released this week show police carried out 1,766 breath tests, of which 156 (or nine per cent) were positive, refused or failed to provide a specimen – a decrease of 3.5 per cent on last year’s result.

During the same period last year, 12.5 per cent of those breathalysed tested positive, refused or failed to provide – 167 from a total of 1,316.

The total number of positive breath tests following a collision was higher this year at 69 or 9 per cent of the total (742) compared to 6 per cent (21 out of 361) last year.

Inspector Richard Pryce, roads policing professional lead, said: “The overall percentage of positive tests is lower, which is encouraging.

“While any positive tests are disappointing, we hope this shows a good trend as more and more drivers take on board the message that it is simply not acceptable to drink and drive. This is definitely now the view of the overwhelming majority of the public.”

“The number of breath tests undertaken is up on last year, together with the number of positive tests following collisions. This demonstrates a concerted effort by officers to clamp down on suspected drink drivers during the festive period.

“As well as the risk of serious injuries or even fatalities, it is important to make it clear that other results of drink driving can be life changing.

“We will not stint in our efforts to reinforce our messages and enforce the law on the region’s roads.

“Catching drink drivers is a year-round priority for Devon and Cornwall Police and we will continue to crack down on drink and drug driving to actively contribute to making our roads safer.”