Drink driving fes­tive ar­rests

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

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.”

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