Lincs: Police made 71 arrests during their festive drink and drive campaign

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Lincs Police made 71 arrests during their Christmas Drink and Drug campaign across the county.

Lincolnshire officers administered 1,233 breath tests where the driver had not been involved in a collision and a further 407 where drivers had been involved in collisions.

Of the total 1,640 tests during the period from 1st December to 1st January, 71 drivers were arrested for providing a positive breath test or for failing to provide a test.

The same period last year resulted in 117 people arrested.

John Siddle of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership says because of media coverage, members of the public became aware of the local initiative where they could anonymously text to a number and report a suspected a person for drinking and driving.

Police officers would then follow up on that information.

The average number of breath tests given each month is about 1,100 so there was a significant increase in the number administered in December but with fewer arrests.

The Partnership decided on a data led approach this year which enabled the direct targeting of suspected drink-drivers.

The fact that 181 texts were received demonstrates the enormous public support for what we were trying to do and that is allowing members of the public to anonymously pass information easily (and for free) to the police to rid Lincolnshire of drink drivers.

The texting initiative was unique to Lincolnshire and we have already had an approach from a force which was following up on the publicity, which happened to be seen by one of their own officers as he passed through the County at Christmas.

The Lincolnshire Christmas statistics compare with the Summer campaign which was held throughout the month of June 2014, during that month, 732 drivers were breath-tested and 70 failed the test or refused and were arrested.

John said: “That campaign was the pilot scheme of the text service using the data initiative to increase our intelligence on drivers who drink.”

“All in all we were satisfied with our efforts, delighted with the public response but very disappointed that 71 drivers saw fit to risk the lives of others and their own livelihoods by drinking and driving.”

Nationally this year there was a reduction in the number of tests, down to 133,996, but a higher failure rate with 5,885, or 4.39 per cent, failing breath tests, 28,228 under-25s were tested, with 6.33 per cent failing and 4,042 over-25s or 3.9 per cent failed.