Drink driving festive arrests
AS North Wales Police prepares its annual anti-drink driving Christmas campaign, figures reveal which counties topped of the drink-driving league in recent years.
A Freedom of Information request shows Flintshire had the highest number of arrests for the offence in the last five years.
Since 2012 there were 114 December drink driving related arrests in Flintshire, 85 in Wrexham, 78 in Conwy, 76 in Gwynedd, 67 in Denbighshire and 46 on Anglesey. There were also five arrests where the location was not recorded.
2012 saw the highest number of arrests at 110 while there were just 76 in 2014.
Drink driving remains a serious problem on British roads, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, in 2015 provisional figures show 220 people were killed, 160 were seriously injured and there were more than 8,000 casualties in total in drink drive accidents.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “The consequences of drink-driving can be utterly devastating so I wholeheartedly support the annual campaign because it saves lives.
“Christmas is a time for friends and family, but it’s also a time when a stupid decision could lead to the loss of someone’s life. For those caught and convicted, it will have dire consequences – offenders face a minimum 12-month disqualification, fines up to £5,000 and up to six months’ imprisonment.
“If you kill someone, you could face life behind bars.
“I would also urge people to plan ahead and make alternative transport arrangements if they have to travel to work, go on a school run or attend any other engagement the morning after festive celebrations.
“Any way you look at it, drink driving is just not worth the risk.”
Last year there were 95 arrests in total, 24 in Wrexham, 21 in Conwy, 19 in Flintshire, 15 in Denbighshire, 10 in Gwynedd and five in Anglesey, with one arrest not having a recorded location.
The highest number of arrests in one year was 29 in Flintshire in 2015.
A spokesman for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads, causing devastation to families and communities every day.
“Consuming any amount of alcohol before getting behind the wheel can lead to lethal consequences, and Brake welcomes these Christmas drink drive crackdowns from North Wales Police.
“We urge the government to keep investing in road policing, and treat it as a priority – it saves lives.”
Elaine Hindal, Drinkaware chief executive said: “If people choose to drink alcohol this festive season there are a number of things they can do to ensure it’s a Christmas to remember for the right reasons.
“It’s safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis and to spread your intake evenly over three or four days.
“Making every other drink a soft drink and avoiding drinking in rounds can also help people to moderate their drinking and to drink at their own pace.
“Drinkaware’s free mobile app, which has lots of handy hints and tips, is there to help people keep track of their drinking over the holiday season so that they can enjoy this wonderful time of year safely.”