Devon and Cornwall drinking and driving arrests rise

Breathalyser The number of people tested positive across the country has fallen

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Arrests for drinking and driving have increased in Devon and Cornwall, bucking the national trend of falling numbers.

Arrests rose 4% in June compared with the same month last year, say Devon and Cornwall Police.

Nationally the numbers of failed tests fell to 4,857, compared to 5,170 in June 2012.

Devon and Cornwall Police said nearly one third of those tested were under 25 years old.

Insp Richard Pryce said: "We have seen a spike in the number of under 25's being detected drinking and driving.

"Ten to fifteen years ago the numbers were insignificant and that is a real concern.

"I wish more people could understand what the potential consequences are of being out there behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol."

Officers stopped 789 vehicles for breath tests in June and 166 were either positive or the driver refused.

In 2012, 817 motorists were breathalysed and 135 were positive or refused to take the test.

Ellen Booth, from the road safety charity Brake, said: "Our message to drivers is don't risk even having one drink.

"Small amounts of alcohol will dramatically impair your driving ability."

Earlier this month, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) made renewed calls for the drink-drive limit to be lowered as figures showed a rise in the number of people killed in alcohol-related accidents.

Provisional estimates for 2012, released on Monday by the Department for Transport (DfT), show there were 290 people killed in drink-related accidents in Great Britain - a rise of around a quarter compared to the previous year.

The government has said that a complete ban on drinking and driving is not practical, as even without drinking small amounts of alcohol can be present in the body from other sources.

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