More than 17,000 drivers were pulled over in a month by police tackling drink driving, it emerged today.
Police say it is encouraging that 98.8 per cent of them were not under the influence, but today said the 221 drinkers that were caught at the wheel is “still too many”.
Throughout the campaign in December, 202 people failed roadside tests and 19 others refused to provide a specimen.
The Preston area had one of the lowest numbers of drink drivers with 26 caught, but this was a slight increase on the 24 caught in December 2012.
Figures show 33 were caught drink driving in Southern Lancashire, which includes Leyland and Chorley.
Chief Insp Debbie Howard said: “It is pleasing to see the number of people drink driving on Lancashire’s roads has reduced.
“I hope that the message is getting through to people that drink driving is extremely dangerous and the consequences are high.
“221 people caught drink driving is still too many though. We are not complacent and will continue to carry out regular enforcement to take action against those who continue to break the law.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw hit out at those caught.
He added: “People who choose to drink and drive are not only putting their own lives in serious danger, they are risking the lives of everyone around them.
“That is why this operation over Christmas was so important and while I am delighted the overwhelming majority of people tested were not under the influence, it is disappointing that over 200 people in Lancashire chose to take to the road after drinking alcohol.
“They have put both themselves and others on the road at serious risk.
“I saw first-hand the effort which goes into the drink drive operation from Lancashire Constabulary’s officers, and I am fully behind the Constabulary’s ongoing efforts to target those who put lives at risk on our roads. High-profile operations such as this can only help spread the message further and be positive for the county’s residents.”
County Coun John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is a risk simply not worth taking.
“The evidence is clear that you’re many times more likely to cause a crash if you’re over the limit than a driver who hasn’t been drinking.”