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Essex: More drivers being caught over the limit the morning after, say police

PUBLISHED: 12:24 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:24 10 January 2014

Archant

A total of 124 people were arrested during the Essex Police Christmas campaign against drink-drivers – with the majority being dealt with by the courts within a day of the offences.

The force says close co-operation between police and the courts resulted in most offenders being banned from driving less than 24 hours after being breathalysed or being charged with failing or refusing to provide a specimen.

The fast-tracking proved so successful that it is hoped that it will continue across the county.

A total of 3,409 drivers were breath tested between December 1 and 31, including 160 who had been involved in road collisions. Of the 124 arrested, 10 were arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs or drink and drugs. A total of 33 of those prosecuted were under the age of 25. Thirty-three women and 91 men were arrested.

Essex Police’s casualty reduction manager, Adam Pipe, said: “Unfortunately there are still people risking their own lives and the lives of innocent people by continuing to drink and drive and there have been some appalling incidents over the Christmas period of people still being way over the limit the following morning.”

Among those arrested was a man from Colchester who was involved in a collision and refused to provide a sample of breath or blood. He was given a six-week prison sentence suspended for a year and disqualified from driving for 40 months.

A woman from the Chelmsford area was also disqualified from driving for 20 months after being found to be twice over the limit when she was stopped after driving her children to school. A man in the Colchester area was found to be twice the limit at 10am after thinking he was safe to drive after a night out.

Mr Pipe said that there had been an apparent increase in the number of people thinking they were safe to drive after drinking the previous evening. He added: “We are now submitting our data to Essex County Council road safety experts with a view to launching a publicity campaign to warn drivers about the time it takes to be fit again to drive after drinking.”

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