Police Christmas campaign caught 200 drunk or drugged drivers a day

More than 200 drunk and drugged drivers were caught every day by police during a Christmas campaign, figures released yesterday showed.

Officers across England and Wales arrested more than 6,600 drivers, almost four per cent of all those stopped, during the month-long initiative, said the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

Police said the coldest December since records began kept many drivers off the roads, but 6,613 people still chose to put the lives of others at risk by driving under the influence of drink and drugs.

Police stopped and tested 169,838 people; with 6,613 (four per cent) were found to be over the limit, failed a field impairment drugs check or refused to be tested.

An average of 207 motorists were arrested every day for breaking the law between December 1 and January 1, the figures showed.

Chief Constable Mick Giannasi, the Acpo lead for roads policing, said: "That is not only socially irresponsible, it will also have consequences for those who were caught. All of them now face a lengthy driving ban, some will face imprisonment and many will already have lost their jobs and their livelihoods."

Acpo also said the figures showed that those who had been drinking and then drove were more likely to be involved in an accident.

The proportion of those arrested following a breath test after a collision rose slightly to seven per cent.

The police figures also revealed one in 20 motorists (5%) aged under 25 who were breath-tested were arrested, up from 4% in 2009.

And the statistics showed one in five people who were tested for drugs failed and were arrested, up slightly from the previous year.

Acpo also backed Home Office moves to create a better drugs screening device for officers to use.