Almost 100 drivers were arrested for drug offences during a crackdown in Wales.
Police forces in Wales carried out a campaign over the Christmas period in which they breathalysed motorists and checked them for drugs. Officers carried out alcohol tests on almost 23,000 drivers during December with a total of 498 people being found to be over the limit.
And North Wales Police went one step further and also carried out random alcohol and drugs tests on their own officers but thankfully all the results came back clear.
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing said: “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.”
South Wales Police carried out a total of 4,409 alcohol tests with 205 drivers either testing positive or refusing to provide a sample. The force also carried out 26 arrests for drug offences.
In Gwent, 21 motorists were arrested for drug offences, while 47 out of 1,130 people failed a drink-drive test.
North Wales had the lowest drink-driving rate even though the force carried out the most breath-tests over the festive period. Officers tested 8,894 people and just 82 of them were found to be over the legal alcohol limit.
16-year-old caught over alcohol limit
These included a 16-year-old moped rider who crashed in Mochdre, Conwy, while riding under the influence of alcohol.
And a 44-year-old man from Bala, Gwynedd, was found to be almost four times over the legal limit with a breath-test reading of 126 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. Anyone with a reading of 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath or higher is breaking the law.
The force also arrested 35 people for drug-related offences.
And Dyfed-Powys Police tested 8,400 drivers with 164 of those failing the test. And officers arrested 17 people for drug offences.
Inspector Steve Davies, from South Wales Police, said: “We will continue to use all available intelligence and technology to target those minority of drivers who still believe that it is acceptable to drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.”
Susan Storch from Road Safety Wales added: “Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is unacceptable and anyone caught faces a minimum one year driving ban, an unlimited fine and even a prison sentence.
“Every year families have to deal with the devastating effects of losing a loved one because of a small minority who selfishly choose to drink or take drugs and then drive – something which is entirely avoidable.
“We would like to thank partners and members of the public who continue to support us by spreading the Anti Drink Drug Driving message and in particular the emergency services who continue to work tirelessly keeping us safe on the roads in Wales.”
Drug and alcohol tests provide important information about an individual’s substance misuse. While breath tests carried out by police calculate exactly how much alcohol is in a person’s breath or blood at one particular moment, there are other types of testing available which can look at someone’s habits over a period of time.
AlphaBiolabs offers hair strand testing which can detect the presence of drugs and alcohol over the course of months rather than just a few days. These tests can be helpful in building up an accurate picture of a person’s substance misuse and whether they are battling a long-term addiction.