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Young drivers still ignoring drink-drive warnings

It seems drivers young and old are still happy to drink and drive in England and Wales. Police figures reveal an increase in positive drink-driving tests over Christmas.

133,996 drink-driving tests were performed in December, according to figures released by the Association of Chief Police Officers, 5,885 of which (4.39 per cent) tested positive – an increase on the 3.42 per cent who tested positive during the same month in 2013.

The number of over-25s caught over the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath increased from 5.27 per cent in December 2013 to 6.33 per cent the same time a year later. 28,228 under-25s were tested.

Police chief constable Suzette Davenport said the increase in overall positive tests is the result of a ‘intelligence-led’ approach to catching drivers:

“The use of an intelligence-led approach by officers may give the impression through our figures of members of the public not taking seriously the consequences of driving under the influence, but I am confident that our messages on the topic are getting through. Rather, targeted testing is helping officers to pick up on offending in a more efficient way.”

Davenport added: “Younger drivers, who are balancing the development of their skills and responsibilities as drivers with the natural enjoyments and explorations of their formative years as adults, are, unsurprisingly, more likely to take risks.

“But our message is very simple and very clear – you are breaking the law, you are risking your life and the lives of those around you and the consequences of doing so will plague you for the rest of your life.”

While it looks bad the overall failure rate of 4.39 per cent is at its highest since the 2011 figure of 4.55 per cent, the proportional percentage ignores the fact 175,000 drivers were breath-tested in 2014 – roughly 41,000 more.

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