MORE THAN 450 drivers across Worcestershire, Warwickshire and parts of Shropshire have been arrested for drink and drug driving during the month-long festive clampdown.
Alarming figures have revealed 456 under the influence drivers were stopped from December 1 – the date police launched their annual campaign – to New Year’s Day.
Of those, 338 were in the West Mercia Police force area.
Police have said the highest recorded reading during breath tests was when a driver was arrested for being over five times the legal limit (35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100millilitres of breath).
In the past three years, a total of 14 people were killed and 182 seriously injured in Warwickshire and West Mercia following collisions where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor.
Motorists across Warwickshire and West Mercia have been reminded of the dangers of drink driving during the run up to the New Year.
Supt Daryn Elton for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “Worryingly, and despite many warnings over the years about the dangers of drink/drug driving, there are still far too many reckless drivers ignoring the devastating consequences. Alcohol and drugs both affect your ability to judge speed and distances accurately and slow down your reaction time.
“We’re urging people to think hard about the consequences that a collision could lead to.”
“Extra patrols will be conducted in the run up to and over New Year, in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drinking or drug driving.”
Figures show that out of the 394 total arrests, 115 were for drug drive offences.
Vicki Bristow from the Safer Roads Partnership added: “It’s encouraging that most motorists that have been stopped during the course of the campaign have been under the drink drive limit and we’d like to thank those people that have co-operated with roadside checks that have been taking place.
“However, from the results seen so far, there are obviously still people out there who feel they can gamble with drinking and driving, think they know how much the limit is or simply just don’t care or think they are not going to be caught.
“The simple fact is there is only one way of being sure that you are safe to drive and that is not to drink at all. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive.
“We would ask people to consider other options when out drinking over the New Year – public transport, taxis and using designated drivers are easy to arrange – drinking and driving simply isn’t worth the risk.”