Although fewer motorists were breathalysed by police during the Christmas anti drink-drive campaign, a greater proportion of drivers tested were found over the legal limit compared with 2009.
Bitterly cold weather led to a 24% drop in the proportion of motorists being tested during the campaign.
Between December 1 and January 1, a total of 169,838 motorists were breathalysed by officials, 53,585 less than the same campaign in the previous year.
Although people are aware of the fact that getting behind the wheel after heavy drinking could lead to accidents as well as a surge incar insurance premiums, officials found some 6,613 motorists were over the limit or refused to take the test. This is 1,025 less than in 2009, but the proportion of drivers providing a positive test increased by 13.9% to 3.89%.
Chief Constable Mick Giannasi of the Association of Chief Police Officers said: "Death on the road devastates peoples' lives and has a huge financial cost to society.
"It will also have consequences for those who were caught. All of them now face a lengthy driving ban, some will face imprisonment and many will have lost their jobs and their livelihoods."
Copyright © Press Association 2011