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Drink-drive arrests show stark pattern
ABOUT one in five Oxfordshire drink-driving arrests take place during the day, figures obtained by the Oxford Mail show.
Police said the figures remain a stark warning about the dangers of driving the morning after the night before.
Figures show that from November 2011 to October 2012, 111 out of 603 arrests – 18 per cent – were between 6am and 6pm.
A further 203 were between 6pm and midnight and 289 from midnight to 6am, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show.
From December 1, 2011, to January 2, 2012, some 15 per cent of arrests, 66 drivers, were recorded between 6am and 6pm.
And during the same hours, 21 people were arrested from December 1 to 16 last year.
Sergeant Chris ApplebyMany drivers wrongly feel they are fit to drive the morning after a heavy night
Those found to be above the limit face a driving ban for at least a year, though this can be reduced by attending a course, if offered.
Thames Valley Police road safety sergeant Chris Appleby said most arrested from 6am to 6pm would be driving after going to bed.
But he said: “Some of those people will have been at the late nightclub and, by the time they have stumbled out, they get behind the wheel of a car.
“You finish at 4am, you leave at 4.45am. It is not unheard of on the motorway to pick people up driving from London back home somewhere who have not been to sleep.”
"Many drivers wrongly feel they are fit to drive the morning after a heavy night, he said.
“They could feel better than they did the night before but they have still had far too much to drink,” he added. “They get three or four hours sleep and shower and breakfast, but that isn’t going to make them sober.”
The force is running a “Don’t Get Smashed” campaign to warn of the legal and personal consequences of a drink- drive conviction.
County road deaths fell from 63 in 2000 to 26 in 2011, while serious injuries fell from 453 to 329 between these years.
Estimated UK drink-driving tests fell from 3,020 in 1979 to 540 in 2011.
Sgt Appleby said: “There is still a long way to go to get this menace off our roads.
“I think people are getting the message about drink-driving. Less people are doing it than they did 20, 30 years ago.”
He warned: “Ultimately, there is no safe amount of alcohol to have in your system if you are going to be driving. Leave it 24 hours.
“It is very difficult to tell people that because of the way our culture is, but that is the only way.”
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