West Midlands drink-drive arrests doubled on weekend pubs reopened
Arrests for drink-driving doubled in the West Midlands on the weekend the pubs reopened after lockdown compared with the week before, it has been revealed.
Police made 24 arrests in the 48 hours from noon on Saturday, July 4, as pubs reopened their doors again across the region. There were 12 arrests for drink-driving the previous weekend.
The total was also more than double the 10 drink-driving arrests that were made on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
People were warned not to consider getting behind the wheel as the pubs reopened after more than three months, with train, bus and taxi usage down due to fears over coronavirus. Bus and train journeys were only meant to be essential at that point, limiting options for travel.
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West Midlands Police made four arrests in Birmingham city centre and another four in Coventry.
Single arrests were made in Wednesbury, Bloxwich, Willenhall, Lye, Oldbury, Stourbridge and Gornal. Other motorists were stopped in Birmingham.
The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request by the Express & Star.
The higher arrest rate may have been partly down to increased traffic officers patrolling the roads, although that is also the case at New Year, traditionally the busiest night for the emergency services.
Police chiefs reported the reopening of pubs passed off generally peacefully in the West Midlands on July 4 and 5, with only a handful of arrests.
Restrictions on public transport use have now been relaxed by a Government seeking to get the economy moving again, which is likely to convince more people it is safe to get back on the bus and train.
Speaking to the E&S earlier this month, Chief Superintendent Steve Graham delivered a stark warning to anyone considering drink-driving.
"We have no tolerance for that," he said. "If people say 'I don't want to get on the bus because of coronavirus' it is no defence.
"If someone is thinking of having a few pints and driving I have one simple message: Don't do it."
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