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PCC "disappointed" at increase in drink driving over Christmas

PUBLISHED: 16:56 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:56 07 January 2020

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said he was disappointed to see a Christmas rise in drink driving  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said he was disappointed to see a Christmas rise in drink driving Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The number of motorists caught drink driving in Suffolk over Christmas has increased from last year, provisional police figures have revealed.

Suffolk police arrested 175 people during its annual Christmas drink and drug driving crackdown, with 91 motorists arrested on suspicion of drink driving from December 1 to December 31.

Of those 91 people, 78 have so far been charged with drink driving offences and 33 have already appeared in court and received bans.

Last year, 72 people provided positive breath tests for alcohol during the month-long Christmas campaign.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, said he was disappointed to see so many drivers still flouting the law.

Mr Passmore said: "I really can't believe that drivers have still not got the message, driving under the influence of drink and drugs is illegal for a reason, it is one of the four most likely causes of death on our roads, along with using mobile phones, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

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"I am disappointed that so many drivers still choose to flout these laws but pleased to see that the constabulary is committed to catching those that do."

A total of 78 people were arrested in the county on suspicion of drug driving in December, compared with 76 motorists who failed drug tests in 2018.

Six people were arrested on suspicion of both drink and drug driving, which is the same number as 2018.

Last year, more people tested positive for drugs than alcohol but the 2019 provisional statistics reveal a swing back to drink driving in the county.

The official figures from Suffolk Constabulary are likely to be released next week.

An online portal was launched by police for the first time this year to help the public report any suspected drink or drug driving concerns over Christmas directly to officers.

Mr Passmore added: "These results from the Christmas campaign clearly show that if you are prepared to put yourself, and others, at risk by taking to the road unfit to drive you stand a very good chance of being caught.

"I'd like to congratulate the roads armed policing team on their unwavering focus on those who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs."

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