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Drink-drive blitz collars 9,148

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A Christmas and New Year drink-drive blitz resulted in 9,148 being arrested - nearly 300 a day - across England and Wales, according to police figures.

Officers in 43 forces tested 183,397 drivers for drink or drugs between December 1 and January 1, 25,000 more than in a similar campaign the previous year.

Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Drivers should be left in no doubt - get behind the wheel after a drink and you are more likely to be caught than ever before."

His warning was echoed by Gwent Chief Constable Mick Giannasi, who heads roads policing across England and Wales. He said that drivers who put themselves above the law while risking the lives of themselves and others are particularly worrying.

He added: "Drink and drug-drive collisions not only devastate the lives of victims and their families, but they also ruin the lives of the offenders.

"Driving under the influence of any substance, whether it is alcohol or drugs is not acceptable. Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to judge speed and distances, reduce concentration and delay reaction speed."

© Press Association 2009