Over 6,500 drink-drivers arrested in campaign

The campaign ran from November 29th 2013 to January 1st 2014 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although 6,550 drivers were arrested during the campaign, the figure is around 8 per cent fewer than the previous year’s figure of 7,123.

Worryingly, of the drivers arrested, 1,675 (26 per cent) were recorded as being under the age of 25. This figure will no doubt become the focus of many campaigns in the future.

During the annual Christmas crackdown, an average of 200 drivers were arrested for drink-driving offences each day. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) expressed its disappointment in the figures.

RoSPA’s head of road safety, Kevin Clinton, commented: "While it is good news that more tests were carried out and the proportion of drink drivers was lower than the previous Christmas, it is worrying that motorists are still choosing to get behind the wheel while over the limit.

"The provisional estimate for people killed in drink-drive accidents in the UK, in 2012, shows an increase from the previous year. There were 280 deaths and 1,210 people seriously injured, contributing to almost 10,000 casualties in total, so we must do more to tackle this problem.

"Ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland have already decided to lower the drink-drive limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml, and RoSPA would like the Government in Westminster to follow suit so there would be the same lower limit across the whole of the UK.

"Likewise, the increase in the number of drivers arrested while being under the influence of drugs is also of grave concern: in Great Britain, in 2012, we know that at least 32 people were killed and nearly 250 seriously injured in road accidents involving people who were impaired by illicit or medicinal drugs."

During the Christmas campaign, a total of 191,040 motorists were stopped and breath tested by officers – a 9 per cent rise when compared to 2012.

In terms of drug driving, officers conducted 513 field impairment tests, with 143 (28 per cent) of those tested arrested.