LIVES are being risked on the road with more people driving while over the limit.

More people were caught drink driving during the Essex Police Christmas crackdown campaign this time than in recent years.

A total of 126 people tested positive or refused a test out of 3,263 people tested. This equates to 3.8 per cent, compared to 2.95 per cent last year, of those stopped.

About three quarters of those caught were men but more women were caught than in previous years. Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager for Essex, said: “This year’s figures show an increase of the numbers from last year, which is obviously very disappointing.

“Despite widespread publicity of our campaign and high visibility policing there are still a large number of people who will risk, not only their own lives, but those of others by drinking and driving.

“This year there also seems to be more women driving when they should not because of alcohol consumed.

“This may be following a night out or, in some cases the following morning, when they could be driving their children to school. Of the 32 women with positive results 25 were aged over 25-years-of-age.”

While the Christmas campaign is over the focus on stopping and catching those willing to drink and drive is not.

Mr Pipe added: “If you know someone who regularly drinks and drives call Essex Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. “Throughout December we received approximately 50 reports from Crimestoppers about drink-drivers from concerned members of the public and we will take action.”