150 arrests made during Christmas crackdown on drink and drug driving

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Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown

Suffolk police stopped more than 600 motorists as part of a crackdown on drink and drug driving - Credit: Archant

Suffolk police made 150 arrests as part of their annual crackdown on drink and drug driving. 

The number was higher than last year's Covid-hit Christmas when 86 motorists were arrested but lower than the two previous years with 175 arrests in 2019 and 160 in 2018. 

Last month's initiative worked in conjunction with a UK-wide operation organised by the National Police Chiefs Council. 

Officers carried out roadside checks throughout the night and day and conducted intelligence-led enforcement activity.  

A total of 658 motorists were stopped, 23% of which were arrested.

Of these, 542 were breathalysed and 74 were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving,  while 107 people were tested for drugs, of which 67 were positive. 

Of all the people who failed a test, 85% were male and 21% were under the age of 25 years old.

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Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, of the Joint Roads & Armed Policing Team, said: “It is incredibly disappointing that so many people are still prepared to take such unnecessary risks with their lives and the lives of others, when everyone is fully aware of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Our message for the campaign was ‘No Excuse’ and it is that simple: there is no excuse for risking lives or injuring others; no excuse for causing damage to other vehicles or property; no excuse for putting your livelihood at risk – if losing your licence would mean losing your job, the consequences of that would likely have an impact beyond yourself, especially if you have a family.

“Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is one of the ‘Fatal Four’ offences, which makes you more likely to be involved in either a serious or fatal collision – alongside speeding, driving whilst using a mobile phone and driving without wearing a seatbelt.

“We raise awareness and carry-out enforcement activity in respect of these offences all year round and our officers are passionate about making the county’s roads safer for everybody – a fact which I believe is demonstrated by the 658 motorists they interacted with during the month-long campaign.

“Offenders be warned – we are out on the roads 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and if you are caught there will be no excuses.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, urged people to act responsibly

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, urged people to act responsibly, to avoid putting extra pressure on the police - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Tim Passmore, Police & Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they are unfit to drive, we all know drink and drug driving kills.

"It’s very disappointing to see, yet again, so many people failing the alcohol/drug test over the festive period, far too many drivers still prepared to risk their own lives and the lives of others.

“The vast majority of drivers on our roads are responsible but sadly there are still those, who despite the obvious dangers, insist on taking to the road under the influence of drink or drugs.

"My message to those irresponsible drivers who have chosen to ignore the law is take heed, our road policing officers are out across the county all day every day and if you get caught you will be prosecuted. There’s no excuse – don’t do it.”

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