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Police campaign targets drink and drug drivers

Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria Constabulary will be targeting those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs this month using new legislation.

As part of its annual summer campaign, it will use new drug tests that place legal limits on eight illegal drugs and eight medicinal drugs.

Police will enforce the new laws with roadside saliva-testing kits followed by blood and urine tests at a station.

Any amount of alcohol or drugs can affect a motorist's ability to drive safely. Our advice to all motorists is that if you're planning on driving a vehicle do not drink any alcohol or take drugs. Different amounts of alcohol or drugs can have different effects due to a wide range of variables."

– Sergeant Paul Brown

Last year's campaign saw 1,587 breath tests conducted, and 66 people subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Lorry driver jailed for drink driving

Credit: PA

A lorry driver who was nearly four times over the drink-drive limit near Carlisle has been jailed for 120 days.

Martin Tazky, from Slovakia, was stopped at a vehicle checkpoint on the M6 at Todhills.

As well as going to prison, he's been disqualified from driving for 27 months and will have to take an extended test before getting behind the wheel again.

Drop in Cumbria drink drivers

2,687 people were tested as part of the month long campaign Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Sixty motorists were caught driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs during the Cumbria Constabulary's month-long Christmas campaign.

The campaign ran from the 1st of December to the 1st of January.

A total of 2,687 people were tested during this period, a higher number than last year.

However the number of positive results was lower.

Cumbria Police say there is still work to be done.

"A statistic I would like to highlight it that, whilst the number of driver caught under the influence dropped, the number of people failing a test following a collision increased.

"This is proof that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs increases the likelihood of a collision.

"In 2015 we will continue to target drink and drug drivers as part of our work to make Cumbria's roads safer"

– Chief Inspector Matt Kennerley

Big drop in Scottish drink driving

The number of people caught drink driving in Scotland in the first three weeks since the new limit came into force, was down by more than a quarter on last year.

Between 8 and 29 December 13,346 motorists were stopped and breathalysed by Police Scotland under the new lower drink drive limit.

255 were found to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs, compared to 348 in the same period last year.

That's a drop of 27 percent.

In Scotland, the legal limit is now 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, rather than 80mg.

“It is heartening to see a reduction in the total numbers of drivers who are drinking before getting behind the wheel, the fact that 255 people have still chosen to do so and in doing so have put themselves and other needlessly at risk is still entirely unacceptable in my view.

“There is no doubt that the new limit, and what it means, is challenging a lot of people and we shall continue our efforts throughout the season and beyond to make sure that we reinforce the 'don't risk it' message, prevent deaths and collisions and make our roads safer.”

– Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of Police Scotland


Plans in Scotland to lower drink-drive limit

Plans to reduce the limit to 50mg Credit: PA

A new lower drink-drive limit will come into force on Scotland's roads before Christmas.

Traffic police will be able to breath-alyse drivers at the reduced limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood from the 5th December, meaning motorists could be breaking the law if they consume a single pint or glass of wine before getting behind the wheel.

The new limit will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe, including Germany, France and Spain, while the current 80mg limit remains in place South of the Border.

Cumbria's youngest drink driver: 14

Figures released by Cumbria Constabulary show the youngest drink driver to be apprehended between 2008 and 2013 was just 14.

The figures were released after a Freedom of Information Request was submitted by in-car camera provider Nextbase.

The youngest child to be caught drink driving was an 11-year-old apprehended in the Thames Valley area in 2011.

And in Scotland, 718 drink drivers under the age of 18 were caught.

"Under-age driving is illegal and no person under the age of 17 should be driving a car. We have tough laws in place to tackle those caught driving without a licence.

"Drink-driving is a menace that costs lives, and the Government is strengthening the law to help police crack down on this problem."

– Department for Transport Spokesman

Almost 100 Cumbrian under-18s caught drink driving

91 Cumbrian under-18s were apprehended between 2008 and 2013 Credit: JOHN GILES/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nearly 100 under-18s were caught drink driving in Cumbria between 2008 and 2013.

The figures were released by Cumbria Constabulary, and 42 other police forces, after a Freedom of Information Act request by in-car camera provider Nextbase.

They also released the number of under-16s, and the youngest person who was apprehended.

  • Under-18s: 91
  • Under-16s: 31
  • Youngest offender: 14 years old
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