THE Christmas drink drive campaign mounted by Greater Manchester Police resulted in 51 more drivers being arrested than in the 2011 crackdwon - despite officers carrying out fewer breath tests.

From December 1 2012 to January first this year 11,230 breath tests were conducted resulting in 464 people being arrested for drink driving.

That represents 4.1 per cent of drivers breathalysed tested positive, up from 3.5 per cent last year.

Of those arrested, 78 were involved in collisions, the same number as last year, and six people were arrested for drug driving following roadside impairment tests, which is down by 28 compared to December 2011.

The work formed part of GMP’s road safety campaign, Dicing with Death, which was set up after 75 people lost their lives on the roads of Greater Manchester in 2011, a 42 per cent increase on the previous year.

The campaign is helping to reduce deaths so far, with 22 fewer victims between 1 February and 31 October 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, a drop of 38 per cent.

Inspector John Armfield said: “Our determination to target those suspected of drink driving has paid dividends this year, as the increase in arrests shows, and I would urge the public to continue to provide us with information on offenders, as doing so can help to save lives.

“Of course it’s not just during Christmas and New Year that drink driving is a problem, and the advice to motorists remains the same throughout the year – if you are having a drink, do not drive. Make alternative arrangements to get home, as that way you won't endanger anyone’s life on the road, including your own.

“Words cannot describe the enormous impact on bereaved families who lose loved ones through drink or drug driving, and we will continue to do all we can to bring down the number of casualties.”