M56 drink-driv­ing ar­rest rate re­vealed

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Oliv­erClayRWWN

DRINK driv­ers have been risk­ing their lives and oth­ers’ on the M56 mo­tor­way through Cheshire.

Free­dom Of In­for­ma­tion data ob­tained by the Weekly News and re­leased by Cheshire po­lice showed that there have been seven ar­rests in the first eight months of this year in­volv­ing mo­torists above the limit any­where be­tween junc­tion 14 Haps­ford and 6 Manch­ester Air­port.

Four of those were in Au­gust, while the oth­ers were in Jan­uary, March and July.

Three ar­rests were on stretches close to Run­corn, with one each be­tween junc­tions 12 Clifton and 14 Helsby, 12 Clifton and 11 Pre­ston Brook, and 11 Pre­ston Brook and 10 Stret­ton.

The other four were all on the War­ring­ton to Manch­ester Air­port car­riage­ways, be­tween junc­tions 10 Stret­ton and 6 Manch­ester Air­port.

Breath tests of the mo­torists logged al­co­hol lev­els of be­tween 44 and 107 mi­cro­grams of al­co­hol per 100 millil­itres of breath. The le­gal limit is 35. Driv­ing or at­tempt­ing to drive while over the limit can re­sult in six months in prison, an un­lim­ited fine and a driv­ing ban of up to a year or three years if con­victed twice in 10 years.

Any­one con­victed of caus­ing death by care­less driv­ing can face up to 14 years in prison.

Brake, the road safety char­ity, has warned that drink-driv­ing re­mains a ‘scourge’ on Bri­tain’s high­ways with one in eight deaths on the na­tion’s high­ways in­volv­ing a mo­torist over the limit.

Its ‘Driv­ing For Zero’ cam­paign has called for more steps to tackle forms of im­paired mo­tor­ing whether due to al­co­hol, drugs or poor vi­sion and ill health. Brake’s pro­pos­als in­clude a low­er­ing of the drink drive limit, com­pul­sory eye tests for driv­ers, and ‘rig­or­ous en­force­ment’.

Joshua Har­ris, Brake’s di­rec­tor of cam­paigns, said: “De­spite decades of ac­tion and in­nu­mer­ably Gov­ern­ment cam­paigns, drink-driv­ing is still a scourge on our roads.

“That is why Brake is call­ing for a zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach.

“Zero-tol­er­ance pro­vides ab­so­lute clar­ity that no amount of al­co­hol is safe when driv­ing and only through this clearcut ap­proach can we truly make progress and rid our roads of the men­ace of drink-driv­ing.”

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