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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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53 drivers caught in Cumbria police summer crackdown

A summer campaign has seen an increase in motorists testing positive for drink or drugs on Cumbria’s roads.

Ullswater search photo
Sergeant Paul Brown

Of the 1,222 people stopped during June, 53 – just over four per cent – were found to be unfit to drive or failed to provide a breath sample. Last year 52 drivers – slightly above three per cent – out of the 1,636 tested were prosecuted following the campaign which is carried out in June each year.

Almost 300 of those tested this year were involved in road accidents with 13 of them found to have been impaired.

Sergeant Paul Brown, of Cumbria Police’s operational support unit, said the slight increase in those caught driving illegally highlighted why police continued to target this behaviour.

He said: “The figures show that only one more person was caught compared to last year’s campaign. While some may see this as a small number we believe that one person caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one too many.

“We work with many different organisations and carry out operations throughout the year to target drink or drug drivers in order to make the message clear that it is dangerous.

“These messages are important and could save people’s lives. Driving when under the influence of drink and drugs impairs a person’s ability to drive. A person is unable to make clear judgements, people are not fully in control of their vehicle and are putting lives at risk. We will continue to target any driver who we suspect to be under the influence and our officers are highly trained in recognising the signs of those who are driving whilst impaired.”

Sgt Brown added that it was important that members of the public contacted the police if they suspected a motorist had been drinking or taking drugs.

His views were echoed by Richard Rhodes, Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner, who said: “It is vital that people take these messages seriously, and wake up to the fact that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can have deadly consequences.”

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