South Yorkshire Police welcome December drink-driving downturn

South Yorkshire Police welcome December drink-driving downturn

By Gareth Dennison | 11/01/2022

South Yorkshire Police welcome December drink-driving downturn

THREE per cent of motorists checked during December were over the drink-drive limit — down from nearly ten per cent the previous year.

South Yorkshire Police welcomed the reduction in positive roadside alcohol checks, although the number found to be over the limit after a crash is still of concern.

Officers carried out 960 breath tests this time, up from 764 the previous year but down on the 1,120 done in 2019.

Some 3.1 per cent of drivers failed the check this time — down from 9.8 per cent in 2020 and 11.8 in 2019.

The campaign — running from December 1 to January 1 — saw 82 motorists breathalysed after a crash, with 14.6 per cent testing positive.

Sgt Mark Bradey said: “The percentage of positive breath tests has seen a marked drop, albeit the 14.6 per cent testing positive following collisions is clearly of concern.”

Insp Jason Booth said: “While we are pleased to see the number of positive tests decreasing, the fact that even one takes place is too many. 

“A drink-driving incident so often ends in heartache and despair for one or more families..

“We cannot rest on our laurels until these figures are driven right down, and we won’t.

“Our officers both in the operational support unit and across the force will continue to proactively crack down on this until no more

lives are altered through injury or cut short through tragedy on South Yorkshire’s roads.”

A third of the 72 people checked for drug-driving saw a positive result. These tests are more targeted — the national average last year was over two-thirds.

Joanne Wehrle, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership manager, said the lower number of drink-drivers showed the shift in attitude against driving while under the influence.

She added: “It is pleasing to see from the results of our public survey that 90 per cent of respondents agree that the safest drinking limit when driving is to have no alcohol at all.”