ONE hundred drivers were arrested in Warwickshire during a Christmas operation targeting drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The six week operation started when the football World Cup kicked-off and continued over Christmas and New Year.
The increased presence of officers on Warwickshire’s roads led to a total of 604 vehicles being stopped and 411 breath tests and 72 drug wipes being carried out.
A fifth of all drivers tested were arrested. Twenty-one were arrested on suspicion of driving or being in charge of a vehicle when under the influence of drink or drugs, 44 drivers on suspicion of drink driving and 26 drivers on suspicion of drug driving. A further nine were arrested for failing to provide a specimen for analysis. Some drivers were referred to support services in relation to their drinking or drug taking.
Those arrested included an HGV driver after providing a breath sample of 85 – the legal limit is 35 micrograms per 100ml of breath – while another driver provided a sample of 146 in custody.
A driver suspected to be under the influence of cannabis was stopped for doing 103mph, while three drivers who attempted to get away from police, after being requested to stop, were also suspeced of being under the influence of drink or drugs.
Insp Jem Mountford of Warwickshire Police said “While the results demonstrate a very successful policing operation with all our officers increasing their focus on completing stops resulting in more arrests, sadly they also highlight the poor attitude of some drivers who are still willing to risk the lives of others as well as theirs by getting behind the wheel whilst being intoxicated through drink or drugs.
“For these drivers, we know that being caught and punished is the biggest deterrent and to protect the majority of lawful road users, we will continue to target and remove these drivers from our roads.”
Police also thanked members of the public and and CCTV operators who reported drivers they suspected may be driving or about to drive under the influence.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership Philip Seccombe said “If things are to change it is really important that the public sector and the public all work together to reduce drink and drug driving on our roads and it is encouraging to see so many of the public and CCTV operators doing just that by calling the police to report drivers they believe may be over the limit.”