Police angered by motorists who drink

PUBLISHED: 10:38 12 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:09 28 May 2010

POLICE in Essex and Cambridgeshire are disappointed" with the number of people who endangered lives by drinking and driving over the Christmas period. In Essex, 8,416 drivers were stopped and breathalysed in December, with 255 of those stopped providing

POLICE in Essex and Cambridgeshire are "disappointed" with the number of people who endangered lives by drinking and driving over the Christmas period.In Essex, 8,416 drivers were stopped and breathalysed in December, with 255 of those stopped providing positive roadside breath specimens, equivalent to three per cent.This is a slight improvement on last year's three-and-a-half per cent, when 311 drivers gave positive readings out of 8,815 tests.Bocking Road Policing Unit, which covers the Uttlesford district, made just 18 arrests out of 741 drivers stopped, a hit rate of less than two-and-a-half per cent.Essex police Road Policing Inspector, Alan Jelley, said: "The campaign's hit rate of three per cent does give us concern and should give the general motoring public concern too."Each campaign is launched in order to tackle this deadly menace, but I would stress and highlight that the drink-drive message applies 365 days of the year and not just throughout December."Unfortunately, Cambridgeshire police reported a 32 per cent rise in the number of people caught driving while over the legal alcohol limit between December 18 and January 1, making 95 arrests compared to last year's 72.In the whole of the "Drive safe - drive sober" campaign in Cambridgeshire, between December 1 and January 2, 2,876 drivers were stopped and 197 of them gave breath samples exceeding the legal limit for alcohol. This equates to almost seven per cent.Casualty Reduction Officer for Cambridgeshire police, Pc Mick McCready, said: "I am disappointed that the number of people driving under the influence has increased and it proves that there are still a number of drivers who think it is acceptable to drive under the influence."The number of people arrested for drink-driving in Cambridgeshire throughout the whole of 2005 was 20 per cent higher than the number arrested in 2004, up to 1692 from 1416.

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