Drivers in Wales are being warned they are around two and a half times more likely to be breath tested this December than any other month.
Analysis of Home Office data by personal breathalyser firm AlcoSense shows that in December last year, Welsh Police stopped 3,344 motorists suspected of drink driving. That compared with 1,375 in an average month.
South Wales led the way with 1,165 tests, followed by North Wales (1,065), Dyfed-Powys (586) and Gwent (528).
A total of 330 motorists in Wales tested last December were found to be over the limit. The failure rate of 10% was similar to that in England.
Police are now stepping up their campaign this year, targeting anyone tempted to drive under the influence after celebrating Christmas or watching World Cup matches.
“Drinking at home with family or down the pub increases the likelihood of driving the next morning with alcohol still in your system,” says Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense.
“If you drink four pints of medium-strong beer or four large glasses of wine, it could take as long as 14 hours for the alcohol to clear your system.
“The rule is simple. If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive and if you’re driving, don’t drink. If in any doubt, self-test with a personal breathalyser to ensure you’re clear of alcohol before getting behind the wheel. One in five drink drive convictions are in the morning”.
Even with just 10mg per 100mL of alcohol in your blood (one eighth of the legal limit in England and Wales) you are 37% more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than when completely sober, research shows.
Throughout 2021, Welsh Police carried out 18,462 roadside breath tests and 2,897 motorists either tested positive or refused to provide a sample. The annual failure rate of 16% was again similar to England (17%).
Government figures estimate that 6,480 people are killed or injured nationally in drink drive accidents, with drunk drivers accounting for 15% of road deaths every year.