Over 70 drink driving arrests after Christmas text campaign

The Lincolnshire Police annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaign led to 71 arrests after 181 people reported cases via text.

Some 181 text messages were received by officers alerting them of possible drink/drug drivers from the campaign launch on December 1 2014, to January 1, 2015.

Lincolnshire officers administered 1,233 breath tests where the driver had not been involved in a collision, and a further 407 where drivers had been involved in collisions.

Of the total 1,640 tests during the campaign period, 71 drivers were arrested for providing a positive breath test or for failing to provide a test.

During the same period last year 117 people were arrested.

The statistics were released by the Association of Chief Police Officers on Wednesday, January 21, and they are now working to determine how many text messages were directly related to an arrest.

People were able to anonymously text a number for free and report a suspected a person for drinking and driving. Police officers would then follow up on that information.

The average number of breath tests given each month is about 1,100 so there was a significant increase in the number administered in December.

John Siddle of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership said: “The texting initiative was unique to Lincolnshire and we have already had an approach from a force which was following up on the publicity.

“The Lincolnshire Christmas statistics compare with the summer campaign which was held throughout the month of June 2014 – during that month. 732 drivers were breath-tested and 70 failed the test or refused and were arrested.

“That campaign was the pilot scheme of the text service using the data initiative to increase our intelligence on drivers who drink.”