Drink-drive warning

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POLICE sounded a warning to Wigan’s drink-drivers today after revealing this year’s campaign is already seeing more than a dozen motorists failing breath tests each day.

Figures show 5,945 breath tests have been carried out across Greater Manchester in the first 16 days of the annual festive campaign.

Of those tested, 217 drivers were found to be over the legal drink-drive limit and arrested. Some 32 of the positive readings involved collisions.

A further three people were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs after US-style roadside impairment tests.

Today, police chiefs delivered a stark message to motorists, warning that drink-driving wrecked lives.

Insp John Armfield, who is heading the Greater Manchester Police drink-drive crackdown, said: “When you consider that these figures are only for the first half of December, they make for grim reading.”

The statistics include motorists arrested for failing breath tests the morning after a night out.

Police conducted 11,855 breath tests last December, resulting in 413 arrests for drink-driving.

Of those, 78 cases involved collisions in which the driver was found to be over the legal limit.

A further 34 people were held for driving while under the influence of drugs.

Insp Armfield said the interim figures this year mirrored those recorded over the same period last December. And he revealed that officers were targeting drivers identified as potential offenders through intelligence from the public.

He added: “My message is very simple – if you are having a drink, don’t drive. We want everybody to have an enjoyable and memorable Christmas, but we want people to act responsibly. Sadly, the 217 people we’ve arrested so far are having a memorable Christmas for the wrong reasons, and I want to remind everybody that drink or drug-driving wrecks lives.

“Anyone driving after consuming drink or drugs greatly increases their likelihood of being involved in a collision, and the human costs imposed on the victims and their families are immeasurable. If you are caught you will face a criminal record, a heavy fine, loss of your licence, loss of your job perhaps – and possibly a prison sentence.”