SEVEN per cent of motorists breathalysed in Wigan last year tested positive for alcohol.
Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request revealed that in 2010, 520 people were stopped by Greater Manchester Police and breathalysed for alcohol, resulting in 37 people testing positive.
The news comes in the week that GMP launched their new campaign to tackle drink and drug driving on Wigan’s roads during the festive season, with officers set to work around the clock and carry out hundreds of breathalyser tests.
Chief Inspector Mark Dexter from GMP’s Road Policing Unit said: “The key message for motorists is to be responsible and don’t drink or take drugs before driving.
“Either ensure that someone in your group remains sober and acts as designated driver or take public transport – that way everyone is sure to get home safely.
“The only truly safe drink-drive limit is to drink no alcohol at all. People also need to be aware that they could still be over the limit the morning after. You might feel fine, but you could still have alcohol in your system that could impair your driving.
“Christmas is a time for family and friends and no police officer wants to have to deliver the message that a loved one has died or been seriously injured at the hands of a drink or drug driver.
“If you drink alcohol or take drugs before driving we will catch up with you. We and our partners are determined to make our roads safer, and this starts by targeting those who recklessly drink and drug drive.”
The crackdown has been welcomed by road safety charities, including Brake.
Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer, said: “We fully support this vital crackdown on deadly and selfish drink and drug drivers. Every Christmas, and indeed every week of the year, many families are confronted by the death of a loved one, or a terrible injury, caused by drivers wilfully taking these appalling risks.
“We urge drivers to imagine the consequences for a second and realise it’s never worth chancing your life and other people’s.
“Our simple message is not a drop, not a drag – please make a pledge to never drive on any amount of alcohol or drugs.”
The Wigan campaign is part of a national awareness drive by the Department for Transport, supported by local authorities, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Drive Safe.
If you see someone drink driving this Christmas call Greater Manchester Police on the new non-emergency number 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.