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Big increase in drink-driving arrests, latest figures show

Concern: Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell (File photograph)

The number of motorists arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired has shot up by 50 per cent this year – despite a police crackdown on bad driving habits.

According to police, there have been 180 arrests for drink driving so far this year, compared to 121 arrests for the first 11 months of 2021.

Despite that sobering statistic, Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell of the Bermuda Police Service tactical support division said the latest figures showed that Operation Vega – launched in July last year – was delivering “good results”.

In the latest BPS monthly report, 428 tickets were issued for motoring offences in the four weeks between November 7 and today – down from 702 for the same period last year.

Almost half of tickets issued – 204 – were for speeding offences, with one driver recorded travelling at more than 80km/h.

Fifty motorists were ticketed for not having a licensed vehicle, while a further 36 motorists did not have a valid driver’s licence.

There were 12 arrests for impaired driving according to the monthly report, which Mr Cardwell acknowledged was a “major concern”.

But he added: “ The numbers continue to demonstrate the commitment of the Bermuda Police Service to this initiative, geared towards making our roads safer.

“We are indeed seeing good results with fewer traffic infractions being reported.”

The number of vehicles on the road with illegal license plates also increased – from just two between October 10 and November 7 to 14 for November 8 to December 5 . There were also seven tickets for vehicles having illegal window tints.

Tough laws governing car and bike plates were passed by MPs at the beginning of last month, with stiffer penalties introduced for offenders.

Mr Cardwell said: “The BPS wishes to remind the public of the guidelines regarding illegal license plates, as well as illegal tint.

“Make sure your vehicle is properly licensed and insured. Also please ensure that your driver’s license is current.”

Mr. Cardwell also expressed concern about dangerous driving practices.

He said: “Driving without due care and attention and dangerous driving prolific particularly during the early morning commute. Such actions create a bad driving and riding experience for other road users.

“We urge you to leave home a little earlier to avoid taking unnecessary risks which could lead to serious injury, or worse.”

There have been almost 7,900 tickets issued since Operation Vega was launched 17 months ago.