Who is a drink drug driver?


More than 350 men failed a roadside breath test this year and fails by those aged 51-60 have doubled in the Cleveland area since 2016.

Police are sharing numbers of failed breath tests this year to date in a bid to highlight how widespread the problem of drink drug driving remains.

This year police have launched a campaign with the hashtag #noemptychair, which reminds people that drink drug driving kills.

The campaign states ‘Pain is an empty chair’ and reminds people not to be the reason why someone’s loved one is not at the Christmas table, Christmas party or festive get together this year.

Inspector Darren Breslin from Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, which is responsible for roads policing, said: “Everyone says that drink drug driving is unacceptable but these numbers show that people’s husbands, sons and brothers are still doing it.

“So far this year 385 men have failed a breath test in comparison to 89 women. But it’s not just men or younger drivers – this is something that men and women are doing across all ages, with increases in the older age groups.

“Our message is clear, the consequences of getting behind the wheel could be an empty chair in someone’s home this Christmas. Drink drug driving kills and wrecks lives. It’s simply inexcusable.”

Latest available figures for the Cleveland area, up to October 2018, show that more men fail breath tests than women. Of the 476 tests failed to date in the Force area, 81 per cent were failed by men (385) and 19 per cent by women (89). [*See footnote]

Men aged between 18 and 30 failed the most tests (151) followed by men aged 31 to 40 (102).

The majority of women who failed a breath test were also in the 18-30 or 31-40 age groups.

In 2016 just 6 per cent of fails were people aged 51-60 and in the last few years this has doubled to 12 per cent.

Numbers of failed breath tests have also increased from 2017 when 369 fails were recorded for the whole year. To date 2018 has already exceeded this total.

Weekends remain the peak time for people to fail breath tests. The majority of illegal readings are recorded between 9pm and 3am.

Footnote: The discrepancy is due to breath tests where gender was not stated.