DRINK drivers were involved in one in ten road collisions across South Yorkshire over the Christmas period.
Figures released by South Yorkshire Police showed 2,907 drivers were breathalysed in December and of those 151 tested positive (5.2 per cent), refused or failed to provide a breath test.
503 of the breath tests carried out followed a collision on the road, and 9.5 per cent of these were recorded as being over the drink drive limit or unable to provide a breath test.
South Yorkshire Chief Inspector for Roads Policing, Stuart Walne, said: “With almost 10 per cent of collisions involving drink drivers the message couldn’t be clearer, alcohol and driving should never be mixed.
“Drink driving kills and has a devastating effect on families and loved ones.”
There was a slight percentage increase in 2012 compared with the previous year.
In December 2011 there were 4.690 breath tests carried out in South Yorkshire, of which 239 (5.1 per cent) were positive, refused or failed to provide a breath test.
Nationally, drink and drug drive figures for the December 2012 Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) campaign showed that across the country over 175,000 tests were conducted and more than 7,000 tested positive, refused or failed to provide a breath test.
Throughout December, South Yorkshire Police followed an intelligence led approach to the campaign, specifically targeting areas with a known record of drink driving.
The police enforcement was supported by a local campaign raising awareness of drink driving, irresponsible drinking and key safety messages relating to alcohol.
The ‘Start thinking, reduce your drinking’ campaign appeared across the county and included a range of advertising methods such as local radio and bus-side advertising in addition to messaging in cinemas across the county.
Chief Insp Walne added: “Through our annual campaigns, South Yorkshire Police and the wider South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership have consistently warned the public, both young and old, that drink driving can kill.
“Statistics show that younger drivers (under 25) are more likely to commit a drink driving offence than those over 25 and we will continue to target our resources accordingly, raising awareness that drink driving can also lead to a lengthy driving ban and possible loss of jobs and livelihoods with some offenders even facing imprisonment.
“If you know someone that regularly drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol I would urge you to contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”