Drivers listen to drink warning

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MORE than 3,000 drivers were breath-tested by police during a Christmas drink and drug drive campaign.

Officers in Cleveland and Durham stopped 3,250 motorists during the initiative aimed at cutting down on the number of dangerous drivers on the roads.

There were 96 drivers who either tested positive, refused to take the test or failed to provide a sample of breath.

Out of those tested in the morning and evening, 557 were under the age of 25 and 2,693 breath-tests were administered to those aged over 25.

Temporary Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer, of Cleveland Police, said: “While it is pleasing to see that the majority of drivers have listened to our warnings, there are a number of people who, disappointingly, still believe it is acceptable to drink and drive.

“We’d like to repeat our warnings again. It is completely unacceptable, dangerous and extremely selfish to get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence of drink of drugs. Think about the families and lives you could affect should you seriously injure or even kill yourself or an innocent member of the public.

“Those people identified through our campaign as drink-drivers will now face the consequences of their actions.

“We will continue to carry out these operations year after year to ensure that our roads are as safe as they possibly can be.”

Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, Mike Barton, said: “We made it absolutely clear to drivers before Christmas that we would be stepping up our efforts and we warned people against the dangers of drink and drug driving.

“Unfortunately, there is still a small but significant number who seem to think they can take risks with their own lives, and those of others by driving under the influence.

“A number of those caught will have been tested in the morning, when alcohol was still in their body. Even just one drink can affect your reactions as a driver, which is why the only safe amount is none at all.

“Drink-driving is not just an issue for the festive period, it is something we are aware of and act on throughout the year.”

The campaign took place throughout December and into the early part of the year.

It targeted areas known for drink-related collisions and drink or drug drive offenders.

During the same initiative last year, a total of 4,145 drivers were breathalysed and 119 people tested positive, refused to take the test or the individual concerned failed to provide a sample of breath.