Message getting across as drink drive figures fall

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MORE than 100 people chose to risk lives by drink driving on the county’s roads over Christmas – but figures show many drivers are getting the message.

A total of 117 people were arrested for drink driving during Northamptonshire Police’s annual winter campaign in December, compared with 95 in 2010.

But numbers of breath tests rose from 1,066 in 2010 to a record 2,532 in 2011, so the number of positive breath tests has fallen proportionately from 8.9 per cent to 4.6 per cent.

There were between two and three times the normal number of breath tests carried out in December compared with the rest of 2011, but numbers of arrests are broadly similar.

Five of the arrests were made between 7am and midday the ‘morning after’, while 28 were young drivers between 17 and 24 years old.

Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said: “We are pleased that proportionately the number of breath tests which resulted in arrests has gone down this year. However, it is hugely disappointing to see that people are continuing to risk their lives, and the lives of others, by getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol.”

Fay Weatherston, 34, of Wellingborough, nearly lost her husband Chris when a drink-driver smashed into his car.

She said: “They have got to keep doing the campaign. I don’t think it is going to stop but they have got to keep on top of it. If it stops, people just forget.

“I think they should have a campaign like the one in New Zealand with white crosses on the side of the road.”