Festive drink driving figures show increase on last year

MORE people in Comet country were caught drink driving over this year’s festive period compared to the year before, with an increase in arrests across the county too.

In Stevenage, seven people out of the 66 tested were over the legal limit, or 11 per cent of those tested. This was an increase on the two people arrested the year before, although 58 more people were stopped this year.

In North Herts, out of the 18 people stopped by police, four of them were drink driving. This was also an increase on last year, where out of the 21 people stopped, just two were deemed to be over the legal limit.

The figures span the month-long operation that police ran between December 1 and January 1. They do not include stops made by the automatic number plate recognition system, or road policing teams.

Across the county, 11 per cent of that people that were stopped were tested over the legal limit, a slight increase on last year’s 10 per cent.

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“It’s encouraging that we have not seen a dramatic rise in the number of people putting themselves and others at risk by drinking,” said Chief Inspector Donna Pierce from the Road Policing Strategic Unit.

“However there are still a number of people who continue to flout the law and my message to them is, our work to combat this dangerous crime doesn’t stop now the festivities are over.

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“Drink driving is an issue that the force, including Road Policing Officers and Neighbourhood Teams will continue to tackle on a daily basis all across the county.”

139 people in the whole of Herts were arrested for testing positive, refusing or failing a breath-test during the 2010/11 operation, compared to 113 people the year before. The latest operation also saw one arrest for driving under the influence of drugs.

As well as on the lookout for suspicious driving as part of their usual patrols, officers were briefed to carry out Field Impairment Tests to drivers involved in road collisions, an examination that looks at the suspect’s pupils and asks them to undergo five psycho physical tests.

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