drink-drive alert after figures rise

DRINK drivers on the county’s roads are getting steadily worse according to figures released by Notts Police.

Over a three day period in November, ten out of the 11 motorists arrested for drink driving were found to be nearly three times over the legal limit.

It follows a trend which has seen the average reading in failed breath tests hit 70 mcgs or more in 100 mls of breath in five of the nine months up to September this year.

The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Chief Inspector Charlton (left) said the results from the weekend of 18th to 20th November highlighted a real problem on the county’s roads. “That’s not someone who’s had one too many. That’s someone who drives having consumed a huge amount of alcohol over a prolonged period,” he said.

Between 1st January and 31st July this year, the number of alcohol-related collisions reached 96, equalling the total number for 2010.

It has resulted in two deaths and serious injuries to 30 people in the same seven-month time period in 2011.

Chf Insp Andy Charlton urged motorists not to drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

“It seems that there are an increasing number of people who decide that they will drink excessively and still seem prepared to risk driving,” he said.

“It’s good that these people are being caught, and on many occasions the public will tell us about them.”

“Our message is don’t wait for us to catch you. We know from the deaths and serious injuries that unfortunately we don’t catch everyone in time.”

The average reading in failed breath tests for micrograms of alcohol in 100 mls of breath in January 2011 was 66.

Statistics for the first seven months of 2011 show the number of crashes in which alcohol was a factor is rising again, after three years of reductions.

The number of alcohol-related collisions in Notts fell from 176 in 2008 to 96 in 2010, with injuries falling in the same time period from 252 to 143, and deaths from eight to six. Chf Insp Charlton said the force will be testing as many drivers as possible this Christmas.

“No one must believe that the scourge of drink driving has gone away, the fact is too many people just don’t get it - drink-driving is killing people. We are determined to catch those who put not just themselves, but all road users at risk,” he added.

Penalties for drink driving begin with a 12 month driving ban, plus a prison sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to £5,000.