Merseyside Police 'encouraged' as summer drink-drive crackdown sees 98% of motorists passing breath test

Merseyside Police 'encouraged' as summer drink-drive crackdown sees 98% motorists passing breath test

Merseyside Police 'encouraged' as summer drink-drive crackdown sees 98% motorists passing breath test

First published in News
Last updated

A MONTH-long summer drink and drug-drive campaign saw Merseyside Police stop more than 5,500 motorists - with just 2% failing breath tests.

Police also conducted 51 impairment tests on drivers suspected of taking drugs, resulting in ten arrests. Six of these were cannabis-related.

Chief Inspector John Hogan, head of roads policing, said " What these figures show is the determination that Merseyside Police have to deter and detect those drivers who drink and drive and who take drugs and drive.

"They are very encouraging and I would like to recognise that the vast majority of drivers are responsible road users who are heeding our advice."

he added: "However, one-in-50 of those drivers we tested are not and either failed or refused to provide us with a breath specimen.

 "By drinking and driving, people not only risk their own life, but those of their passengers and others on the road. Figures show that the number of drivers failing a breath test after a collision rises to 6.4%.

"I would like to reassure the public that we will continue to carry out enforcement throughout 2014 and will seek to engage with road users to educate them about the dangers that alcohol and drugs pose”.

Overall, 124 arrests were made for failing or refusing a breath test (2.1%), which is down from 2.9%  in the last Christmas campaign and 2.4% in the last year’s summer drink drive campaign.

Merseyside Police are currently taking part in a three-year trial, using a "Drager" cannabis testing device in each of their five custody suites.

The devices, which test for the presence of the psychoactive element of the drug, have the potential to reduce the length of time police officers spend off the streets.

In a recent case, a cannabis-impaired driver was booked into custody, processed and a blood sample obtained, all within one hour and thirty minutes.

Sergeant Paul Mountford, the force's lead officer on drink and drug-driving stated " We have invested heavily in training our officers to recognise the signs of drugs in drivers and have consistently achieved good results in campaigns over the past four years.

"We are well aware of the increasing use of cannabis and the threat that it and other drugs pose to drivers. The Drager devices should further enable us to become more efficient and achieve even better results in the future.”

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