Drink-Driving Measures 'Failing', Campaigners Warn, As Young People Still Worst Offenders
Safety campaigners said today that warnings over drink-drinking were failing as new figures showed young drivers are still the worst offenders.
More than 7,200 people were arrested during the Christmas and New Year crackdown, the Association of Chief Police Officers said.
About 157,000 drivers were stopped and tested over that same time in England and Wales.
Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), said it was worrying that young drivers continue to have a higher rate of offending at 5.7% compared with 4% of over-25s.
"Our research shows that half of young drivers don't know how much they can drink and still be under the limit, so the message is not getting through to them," he said.
"This suggests that lack of education and confusion over safe limits in today's drinking culture of huge glasses and ever changing alcoholic mixes may be a key factor in drink-driving, especially for this age group."
The campaign ran from December 1 to January 1 with officers from 43 forces testing drivers at all times of the day and night.
Deputy Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police Suzette Davenport said: "The consequences of drink- and drug-driving are far-reaching.
"It's not only socially irresponsible but it raises serious issues for those that ignore the risks.
"Those convicted are likely to face a lengthy driving ban and possible loss of jobs and livelihoods, with some even facing imprisonment."
AA president Edmund King said: "We hoped that positive tests would be lower, but worried that the absence of the snow and ice, which had kept many people at home around Christmas in the last two years, would lead to an increase.
"For the last two years it has been a simple case that people who can't go out can't drink and drive.
"We also expected that a shift to intelligence-led policing would mean the police would catch more drivers even though they conducted less tests."