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Festive drink-drivers up as Manchester police arrest 464 people, despite fewer breath tests than last year

By Jeremy Culley

Extra police intelligence saw more drink-drive motorists arrested over Christmas than last year – despite fewer breath tests being carried out.

Last month’s crackdown from Greater Manchester Police led to the arrest of 464 people – 51 more than last year – after 11,230 breath tests were conducted.

This meant 4.1% of drivers breathalysed tested positive, up from 3.5% last year.

Inspector John Armfield, GMP’s lead on drink driving, said: “Our determination to target those suspected of drink driving has paid dividends this year, as the increase in arrests shows, and I would urge the public to continue to provide us with information on offenders.

“Of course it’s not just during Christmas and New Year that drink driving is a problem, and the advice to motorists remains the same throughout the year – if you are having a drink, do not drive.

“Words cannot describe the enormous impact on bereaved families who lose loved ones through drink or drug driving, and we will continue to do all we can to bring down the number of casualties.”

The work formed part of GMP’s road safety campaign Dicing with Death – set up after 75 people died on Greater Manchester’s roads in 2011, 42% more than the previous year.

The campaign has discernibly cut road deaths in the region – with 22 fewer victims between February and November last year, a 38% fall from 2011’s figure.

Of those arrested, 78 were involved in collisions, the same number as last year, and six people were arrested for drug driving following roadside impairment tests, down 28 from December 2011.

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