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West Midlands Police double drink-drive tests in summer crackdown

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The number of drivers tested on suspicion of drinking behind the wheel in the West Midlands has more than doubled – but the percentage found breaking the law has been slashed, it was revealed today.

More than 350 drivers tested positive, failed or refused drink driving tests in the first month of summer as part of a crackdown by West Midlands Police.

Figures released today show that during June officers carried out 4,209 tests, which is more than double the 1,746 carried out last year.

However the figures show that the percentage of those breaking the law behind the week is down more than six per cent on last year.

A total of 355 people tested positive, failed or refused tests - 8.4 per cent - compared to 253 drivers last year, or 14.5 per cent.

Under 25s formed a key part of the campaign as officers of West Midlands Police, which is headed by Chief Constable Chris Sims, worked closely with schools and local communities to educate young drivers.

In total 935 under 25s were tested during the month, with 84 (nine per cent) found to be over the limit – a decrease from the 15 per cent of young drivers who tested positive in 2012.

Insp Greg Jennings, from the force's Traffic Unit, said: "Sadly drink drivers continue to pose a danger to everyone on the road and we do see a peak in offending during the summer months.

"During June we carried out thousands of breath tests on drivers across the West Midlands, targeting the minority of motorists who put themselves and others at risk.

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"While there was an increase in the number of people who failed tests compared to last year the percentage has fallen dramatically which is positive – however eight per cent of people falling tests is still too high. We've also been working to educate young drivers about the implications of drink driving and what can happen if you are found to be over the limit.

"Penalties for a drink drive conviction could include a prison sentence, a fine, losing your licence for at least a year, a criminal record, loss of employment and huge car insurance premiums in the future. If you are convicted of being over the limit it will probably impact every aspect of your life.

"Getting behind the wheel after drinking is reckless and puts innocent lives in danger, the simple advice is to never drive after consuming any alcohol. It doesn't happen accidentally, it's a conscious decision and we would urge friends of those planning to drink and drive to step in and stop them."

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