DRINK or drugs have played a part in four deaths and 26 serious injuries on Suffolk’s roads, new figures have revealed.

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Suffolk Constabulary said alcohol was involved in three of the 27 road deaths in Suffolk between April 2011 and March 2012, the latest period for which statistics are available. Meanwhile drink was connected to 25 of the county’s 267 serious-injury collisions.

The figures were released as part of Suffolk police’s festive crackdown on drink-driving.

Charlie Hall, assistant chief constable of Suffolk police, said: “There will be nowhere for drink-drivers to hide this Christmas and New Year, and no excuses.

“Officers will be on patrol in both counties from Saturday, December 1 onwards, with the specific tasking to stop any driver who causes them concern, whether it be as a result of their manner of driving or because their car has a defect. They will then carry out a breath test as appropriate. All drivers involved in collisions will also be tested.

“While officers from the new joint roads policing unit are leading this initiative, every single uniformed officer in Norfolk and Suffolk will be taking part.

“We want everyone to think twice before getting into their car, whether it be after a night out, on the way to work the next morning, or after a pub lunch or visiting friends and relatives – officers will be on duty and will stop and breath test you.”

Last year’s campaign saw 5,958 drivers breathalysed across Norfolk and Suffolk, with 185 testing positive.

Ass Ch Con Hall added: “While this is only 3% of drivers tested who were over the limit, each one found guilty will have received a criminal record that will affect their job prospects for the rest of their lives, a driving ban and a fine or custodial sentence. Some will have been injured in collisions they caused when drunk, or may have injured others as a result of drinking and driving.

“There are plenty of safe ways to get home after your celebrations – take a taxi or other public transport, or have a designated driver who only has soft drinks on your night out, as promoted this Christmas by Suffolk Roadsafe.

“Even the day after you may still have enough alcohol in your system to put you over the limit – consider this before getting into your car to drive to work the next day, and take a day off or get a lift in.

“Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will seriously impair your ability to drive and puts others at risk on Norfolk and Suffolk’s roads. Our seasonal campaign should serve as a reminder not only to not drink and drive, but to take more care when driving.”

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