Surrey festive drink-drive arrests fall

More than 1,660 breathalyser tests were carried out on Surrey's roads over Christmas and New Year, with 51 people testing positive for alcohol.

Surrey Police said the proportion of positive tests - 3% of the total - was down on previous years.

In 2008/09 the percentage was 9%, in 2009/10 it was 6% and in 2010/11 it was 4.5%. The tests were carried out between 1 December and 1 January.

Drivers aged under 25 accounted for 15% of the failed breath tests this year.

The force is hailing the fall in positive breath tests as a success for its Drive Smart campaign launched in September 2009 after residents highlighted anti-social driving as a major concern.

'Encouraging results'

The campaign targets any driver involved in a collision or suspected by an officer of being impaired through drink or drugs.

Publicity material is also distributed to pubs and clubs, particularly targeting men aged between 17 and 29 who are statistically more likely to drink and drive.

"It is encouraging to see less and less of those we breathalyse testing positive for alcohol," said Insp Richard Mallett.

"However, we will continue to target the selfish small minority who drink and drive, putting so much at risk, for other road users, themselves and their families."

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