Regional News — January 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm — Updated: January 28, 2016 at 12:14 am

117 arrests in Christmas drink/drug drive crackdown

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117 people were arrested across North Wales as part of the annual Christmas crackdown on drink and drug driving.

Across the region, 82 people failed breath tests while another 35 people were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. North Wales Police also carried out random tests on some of its own officers, but all results came back negative.

The number of tests carried out fell by almost half but drink drive arrests are up from 76 in 2014 while drug driving arrests increased from six last year.

The oldest person arrested was a 77 year-old man from Prestatyn who was banned for driving for a year and told to pay a £120 fine and £105 in costs. The youngest was a 16 year-old boy who crashed a moped in Mochdre – he was charged with drink driving and bailed by Llandudno Youth Court last week.

And a 44 year-old man from Bala was found to be nearly four times over the limit with a recording of 126 mg of alcohol in his blood. He remains on police bail.

Anti-drug driving laws introduced last spring led to an increased effort by the four Welsh police forces – there were 99 arrests across the country, with the most in the North. The region also had the lowest drink drive rate with less than 1% arrested following 8,894 breath tests – there were another 416 arrests in South Wales, Dyfed Powys and Gwent.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from the Roads Policing Unit said: ”We still found that some people were willing to risk their lives and the lives of others by drink/drug driving. Although we saw a downturn in the number of people we caught this year, which is encouraging, there are still too many willing to take the risk.” He added the number of drug drive arrests was ”worrying, however, officers will continue to use the powers available to them to stop those who are risking lives by driving under the influence of drugs.”

CI Wareing also defended the force’s decision to test its own staff: ”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.”

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