Drink drivers not being stopped due to cuts in roads policing

Posted On: 
9th August 2017

Budget cuts to blame for fall in drivers being stopped during summer drink-driving campaign.

New figures show that the number of drink and drug related tests carried out on drivers by police has significantly dropped by 10,000.

The summer drink and drug driving campaign conducted annually by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), found that only 38,636 vehicles were stopped in 2017, compared to almost 50,000 in 2016. This is a dramatic fall of 21%.

Jayne Willetts, lead on roads policing for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “These figures are worrying. It not only shows that the number of drivers being stopped has fallen but positive drug screening tests has increased at an alarming rate.

"To keep members of the public safe we need to have road policing officers targeting the 'fatal four' which includes drink/drug driving. However, numbers of dedicated roads policing officers has almost halved since 2000, with just under 4,000 now working across England and Wales.

"In response to these new findings we are calling on chief officers not to reduce the number of specialist roads policing. We will also be linking in with stakeholders to discuss and assess the best way forward based on the evidence presented."

In an effort to change driver behaviour and reduce the number of road traffic casualties on UK roads, the four biggest dangers while driving have been identified as the ‘fatal four’ – drink/drug driving, speeding, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt.