Suffolk: Police crack down on festive drink-driving
POLICE vowed to take a tough stance on drink-driving last night as they launched their annual Christmas campaign.
They promised that they will be seeking out those who take the wheel while over the limit and strictly enforcing the law as they try to avoid a repeat of last year’s devastating death crash that took the life of a young teacher.
Suffolk road policing chief inspector Ady Dawson said at the launch that this year’s appeal was also devised to educate people about the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol.
He said officers will be on patrol with British Transport Police at Ipswich, Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds railway stations between Christmas and New Year, offering passengers voluntary breath tests and booking taxis for those over the limit, to avoid the risk of them driving the rest of the way home.
Ch Insp Dawson said: “We need to reduce the number of people testing positive for drink-driving this Christmas and will be rigorously enforcing the law.
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“We don’t want to ruin somebody’s Christmas by telling them about the loss of a loved one, nor do we want to jeopardise someone’s career by prosecuting them for drink-driving.”
Family liaison officer Pc Mel Savage has dealt with 25 fatal crashes in her nine years working with the road policing unit. She is often first on the scene and is responsible for communicating with the families of victims.
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She said: “I act as a point of contact, speaking to people in their greatest hours of need and offering support to families. I’m there to provide information but not emotional support.
“There is no financial incentive for becoming a family liaison officer but providing that personal contact is reward enough.”
Two people had been arrested before the Press conference began at Suffolk police headquarters yesterday.
Krzysztof Rybakowski, a 28-year-old kitchen worker, of Maude Street, Ipswich, was arrested at 2am for allegedly failing to provide a breath specimen. He has been bailed to appear before magistrates on December 20.
Security employee Kevin Reakes, 55, from Dale Close, Stanway, near Colchester, was bailed until December 13 following his arrest. He was stopped at 9am yesterday on the A12 at Martlesham, and is suspected of driving while over the legal alcohol limit.