Wales

600 fail Christmas drink and drug drive tests

Glass of spirits being held by male hand with car keys on bar counter Image copyright Thinkstock

More than 500 drivers failed drink tests in the Christmas crackdown, Welsh police forces have revealed.

Drivers were also checked for drugs during the festive campaign after a change to the law last spring - leading to almost 100 more arrests.

Nearly 23,000 motorists were breathalysed during December.

North Wales Police also revealed it randomly tested its own officers for drink and drugs, with all tests coming back negative.

  • The south Wales force area topped the table for failed drink-drive tests, with 205 motorists out of 4,409 stopped over the legal limit - a 4.6% fail rate
  • In the Gwent force area, police stopped just over 1,100 drivers, with 47 arrests - a rate of 4.2%
  • North Wales Police stopped the most drivers, 8,894, but had the lowest drink-drive rate in Wales, with 82 over the limit - less than 1%
  • A further 8,400 motorists were checked by Dyfed-Powys Police, with 164 fails - just under 2%

North Wales Police revealed its youngest drink-driver was a 16-year-old who crashed a moped in Mochdre, Conwy.

The force also recorded one of the highest over-the-limit readings - a 44-year-old man from Bala, Gwynedd, who was close to four times over the legal limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

Senior officers also defended the decision to test its own staff.

"We wanted to demonstrate to the public that we were also looking inward in our preventative approach and it was pleasing to see that all tests came back negative," said Ch Insp Darren Wareing.

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