Festive drink-drive numbers drop in Wales

Police breath test driver More people were tested in 2012, but there were fewer positive results

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The number of motorists who failed roadside alcohol breath tests in Wales fell over the Christmas period.

Welsh forces tested more than 35,000 drivers from 1 December 2012 to 1 January 2013, an increase of more than 7,700.

The number of people testing positive, failing or refusing a test was 502, a drop of 43 from the previous year.

But police said it was "disappointing to see a minority who are continuing to ignore the law".

Start Quote

It cannot be stressed highly enough that any amount of drugs or alcohol can impair a person's ability to judge speed and distance, and inevitably endanger the lives of other motorists”

End Quote Wayne Tucker South Wales Police

In the 2011 drink-drive campaign, 27,744 people were tested, with 545 (1.96%) testing positive or failing or refusing a test.

In the 2012-13 operation, 35,493 people were tested, with 502 (1.4%) testing positive or failing or refusing a test.

Dyfed-Powys Police had the highest number of positive, failed or refused tests - 200 out of 11,075.

North Wales Police carried out the highest number of breath tests at 18,780, with 107 people testing positive, failing or refusing.

South Wales Police tested 3,703 people, and 156 were positive, failed or refused.

In Gwent, there were 1,935 tests, with 39 being positive, failed or refused.

The number of under-25s arrested in 2012 remains unchanged at 142.

South Wales Police led the campaign, and the force road safety manager, Wayne Tucker, said: "Although there has been a marked increase in testing across Wales, it is still disappointing to see that some drivers are continuing to risk their lives and those of others by consuming alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

"It is evident from the results that a majority of drivers across Wales are responsible and law-abiding, however it is still disappointing to see a minority who are continuing to ignore the law."

He added: "It cannot be stressed highly enough that any amount of drugs or alcohol can impair a person's ability to judge speed and distance, and inevitably endanger the lives of other motorists."

He said officers across Wales would continue to "target areas where drink driving is prevalent".

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