Suspected drink-drivers were ‘only going a short way’

Police received more New Year's Eve 999 calls than last year, with demand 50% above average Picture:

Police received more New Year's Eve 999 calls than last year, with demand 50% above average Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

More than 200 people have been arrested in December in Essex Police’s Christmas drink and drug driving crackdown.

Police received more New Year's Eve 999 calls than last year, with demand 50% above average Picture:

Police received more New Year's Eve 999 calls than last year, with demand 50% above average Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

In the first 23 days of December, officers arrested 110 people on suspicion of drink driving and 99 on suspicion of drug driving

Officers have also arrested 24 people on suspicion of failing to provide a specimen.

These figures mean that, on average, 10 people are being arrested across Essex every day on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Inspector Rob Brettell, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said that too many people are attempting to drive under the impression that a quick journey while intoxicated will not be dangerous.

He said: “Many of the people we arrest on suspicion of drink driving are only going a short distance.

“They think because they’re not travelling very far they don’t pose a risk and they won’t get caught.

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“That is totally wrong and that mindset is utterly reckless.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re going one mile, 10 miles, or 100 miles – if you get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs, you could end up killing yourself or someone else.

“If you’re travelling to see friends or family over the next few days – no matter how far you are going – please don’t drink or drug drive.”

Drug driving arrest figures have increased in Essex in recent years, in part due to the force’s improved ability to conduct quick roadside tests for the presence of cannabis or cocaine in a driver’s system.

Insp Brettell added: “These figures also show that drug driving remains as much an issue at Christmas time as during the rest of the year.

“We’re better equipped than ever to detect drug drivers so there really is no place to hide.

“Our message is simple – this Christmas drive safe, drive sober because we don’t want you to find out how it feels to deal with the consequences of drink or drug driving.”

If you have any information about a drink or drug driver please call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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