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Issue:- 20 January 2010


MERSEYSIDE Police have seen a reduction in the number of people driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs during its December drink and drug drive campaign.

The Force launched a campaign, supported by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the North West Ambulance Service, running from 1 December 2010 to January 2011, to crackdown on those willing to put lives in danger by getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs.

Officers stopped a record number of cars and performed the highest amount of breath and drug tests to date as part of its campaign and saw a fall in the number of drivers (a) for these offences.

Chief Inspector John Hogan, head of Merseyside Police's Roads Policing Department, said he was delighted with this year's results.

Out of 7,850 motorists breathalysed in December, 119 drivers were arrested.  Thirty three drivers were also given field impairment tests to check for potential drug use leading to 12 arrests. Last year, 5012 drivers were tested during the campaign period with 180 drivers arrested for positive, refused or failed breath tests.
Area Arrested Bailed Charged Refused
Wirral 43 9 30 4
Sefton 18 6 11 1
Knowsley 9 0 8 1
St. Helens 13 2 11 0
Liverpool North 25 4 13 8
Liverpool South 11 1 6 4

► Total arrests for drink = 119

► Total number of people bailed = 22

► Total number of people charged = 79

► Total number of people refused charge = 18

Area Bailed Pending the results of toxicology and refused charge Drug driving
Wirral 1 0 1
Sefton 1 1 0
Knowsley 0 0 0
St. Helens 3 3 0
Liverpool North 6 3 3
Liverpool South 1 1 0

► Total arrests for drugs = 12

► Total number of people bailed = 8

► Total number of people refused charge = 4

Chef Inspector Hogan said:- "Along with our partners we have put a lot of hard work into driving down the number of people prepared to drink or drug drive and in turn to reduce the number of collisions where drink or drugs are a factor and we are really pleased to see that the number of people drink or drug driving has decreased. However, it is disappointing that there are still people out there willing to risk their lives and those of others by getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs especially given the dangerous road conditions created by the severe weather this December. Our message is clear - it is totally unacceptable to jeopardise the lives of others by driving while under the influence of drink or drugs. The consequences can not only ruin the lives of many and destroy families but also lead to the loss of drivers' livelihoods."

Across the UK, 169, 838 drivers were breath tested and 6,613 motorists (a) during the four week campaign, which saw the coldest December in 120 years.

Nationally 3.89% of drivers stopped failed, refused or had positive breath tests compared to 1.97%in Merseyside. Figures also show that during December, 851 drivers were tested following road traffic collisions, resulting in 5.29%(45 drivers) being (a) for a positive, refused or failed test.

The last five years of Christmas drink drive campaigns on Merseyside, have resulted in an annual reduction in the number of collisions in which drinking was a contributory factor.

Provisional data for the 2010 campaign indicates a fall in the number of injury road traffic collisions reported during the campaign period compared to the same period last year.

Chf Insp Hogan added:- "Even a small amount of alcohol will impair your judgement and general ability to drive safely. How much you can drink and still drive safely depends on many factors and is not worth taking the risk. Despite this too many people are drinking or taking drugs and driving and we will continue to target those throughout the year not just at Christmas. On Merseyside we have adopted an intelligence-led approach to stopping drink drivers using information provided by the public, targeting key locations and key times of the day and night to get the message across if you break the drink and drug driving laws on Merseyside you can expect to be caught. Through robust enforcement and education the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads in Merseyside has reduced significantly over the last 10 years. We are determined to do everything we can to continue this reduction. However, we need the support of the public to be able to make a real impact and I urge all drivers to play their part to help us to make a difference and save lives - so don't drink or drug drive."

► Total number of people breath tested:- 7850

► Total number of breath tests administered to under 25s:- 1584

► Total number of breath tests administered to over 25s:- 6266

Southport Weekender - Thank you for your overwhelming support!

LAST weeks edition  we reported the shocking news that we have lost the internationally acclaimed Southport Weekender and promised we would find out more about this move. This as we have already said is a major blow to the area, that will make its self felt far more than most people in Southport think.  So as we have followed this event for many years and as it will have a massive impact on the area, we tracked down Alex Lowes who is So in this audio interview about the Southport Weekender you can hear why they pulled out of its home town Southport and moved to Butlins, Minehead.

We apologise for the audio quality, as the phone interview was recorded from a UK phone line with Alex in Australia.

Southport Weekender - Thank you for your overwhelming support!

BOTH Dave and Alix have in an email to all Weekender fans have said that:- "From the bottom of our heart we cannot put enough words together to thank the hundreds if not thousands of you who have written to us offering your full support and congratulations following our shock announcement on Monday, 10 January 2011. We're sure you're aware of the work its taken to secure the future of our beloved event and to be able to run it in such a fantastic resort as Butlins, Minehead is truly wonderful, it really is light years ahead of anything we've had in the past and we can't wait to see it with the full Southport Weekender's party crowd in full effect, so bring it on!!! As you can imagine the phones and laptops have been red hot this last week with the excitement generated by this positive move, unbelievable. Since the announcement we appreciate that lots of questions have to be answered so... We thank you for your incredible patience on this, we have taken on extra staff so please bear with us, we will get back to everyone shortly. Additions and Changes to Parties Since the announcement that we are putting another 1500 sought after tickets on sale, loads of people have been asking about this. Please ensure you let us know by close of play on Monday, 24 January 2011, so we can allocate accordingly before the remaining places go on General Sale on Friday, 28 January 2011, at 1pm.  Email us at Weekender 47 changes and additions or better still call us on:- 0844 879 7210. 1500 Tickets to go on Sale at 1pm Friday, 28 January 2011. We have been inundated with enquiries from people who missed out when we originally went on sale back in September and are now anxious to purchase tickets. All size Apartments from 2 people upwards are available in the following options: Self-Catering only £175 per person (available in 4, 7 and 8 Berths only). Room only (with kettle/tv/etc) £165 per person (available in 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Berths only). You can book online at:- from 13.00 GMT Friday, 28 January 2011."

Vikings v Saints – Get your tickets soon!

WITH the days counting down until our next pre-season friendly, we’re pleased to announce that demand is strong and tickets are selling well for the forthcoming Widnes Vikings v St. Helens game on Sunday, 23 January 2011.  All four stands at the Stobart Stadium will be open, and to add even more spice to this local derby, both teams will be once again contesting ‘The Karalius Cup’, with St.Helens the current holders following their 42 to 26 victory in 2010.  Advance tickets, priced £10 for adults and £5 for juniors / concessions are now on sale from both the Widnes Vikings Ticket Office and the O’Neills Retail Outlet. Please note; payment is ‘cash only’ at O’Neills.  For any supporters wishing to upgrade to either ‘Silver’ or ‘Gold’ seated areas, these tickets are only available from the Widnes Vikings Ticket Office, situated at the Stobart Stadium Halton.  Please be aware, any supporters unable to purchase tickets in advance of the game for whatever reason should not be alarmed, as there will also be ‘cash only’ turnstiles open on the day.

Grounds safety group nets top marks!

A GROUP which advises on safety issues for sports grounds in Liverpool has won top marks in an audit of its work.  The Ground Safety Advisory Group (GSAG), which is made up of representatives from the city council, the emergency services and the city’s football clubs, provides specialist advice to help the city council discharge its functions under sports grounds and other legislation.  The multi-agency partnerships within the group provide an important role in considering improving safety at sports grounds by providing advice and assistance to the clubs.  The Football Licensing Authority recently undertook an audit of the safety certification processes in Liverpool as part of a national exercise. Part of the audit looked at the operation of the group.

It gave a maximum score for the GSAG for these criteria:-

► Regular meetings with all groups represented, where actions are identified, recorded and acted upon, with good audit trails. Effective leadership from the Chair and keen interest from the group.

► Strong leadership which regularly reviews the performance of the group against the terms of reference. Annual review of terms of reference. Effective administration of the group. Strong support from the group.

Councillor Peter Millea, chair of the group, said:- “Because of our history, no other city is more conscious of the paramount importance of safety at football and other sports grounds. So, it is very pleasing that the work we do on the ground safety advisory group has been acknowledged and gaining top marks in this audit. It is improrant that we provide effective leadership on this issue and this independent review shows that this has been happening.”

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