Increase in festive B-test failures

POLICE drink-drive figures show more people were arrested during the festive period for driving while impaired.

In all, 52 motorists failed or refused breath tests during the December campaign in the Durham area, compared to 41 in 2009.

The Mail reported last week how Cleveland Police had seen 65 arrests, a fall on the number caught drink driving from the previous year.

Inspector Ken Cook, from the Durham and Cleveland strategic roads policing unit, said; "We committed the resources this year to conduct 37 per cent more breath tests during the campaign, which reflects the high priority we give to this issue.

"I have no doubt that our efforts contributed to the fact that we have had only one fatal road traffic accident across the force area since early November. This is despite the sustained severe weather we experienced last month."

Officers from Durham Constabulary had carried out 1,799 breath tests, compared to 1,433 the previous December.

Road accidents were also up for the month a

Zt 336 collisions, up from 308 last year. Heavy snow and difficult driving conditions are said to be to blame.

The Mail reported last week that five per cent of those stopped and tested by Cleveland Police were found to be driving while impaired by alcohol.

The 65 arrests were a drop on the 2009 festive season, when 7.7 per cent of those stopped failed a test.