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Drink driving (1361A/22)


  1. The number of motorists caught drink driving / under the influence of alcohol in your force area, broken down by month for 2021 and 2022 to date.
  2. Based on the number of motorists caught drink driving / under the influence of alcohol in your force area during 2020, 2021 and 2022 (to date), please specify how many were charged under the following offences: (-) Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink (-) Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink (-) Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis (-) Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink (-) NA – No charge


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

However, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see following table 1361A_22_attachment.xlsx). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.

Table – Count of arrests for ‘drink driving’ offences:

Month Year
2020 2021 2022
Jan 147 87 79
Feb 144 96 53
Mar 132 79 68
Apr 113 63 62
May 142 70 64
Jun 132 70 58
Jul 150 81 69
Aug 130 78 86
Sep 136 65 56
Oct 139 81  
Nov 105 75
Dec 118 70


The table above shows a total of 3,098 arrests for drink driving offences during the specified period. However, a person can be arrested for multiple offences at the same time e.g., fail to stop, possession of knife/blade etc. and the number of offences including and related to the arrests above was more than 5,800.

However, our custody system does not allow us to easily separate out the outcomes of the drink driving arrests from the outcomes for the other offences. As a consequence, to determine the information for question 2, we would need to manually review each arrest record. Such a search however would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

This means that the cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:


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