Drink and drug driving campaign results in more than 100 people arrested

More than 100 people were arrested during the Suffolk Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, with over 1,700 people breathalysed.  

The month-long initiative launched on December 1, targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Patrols and roadside checks were carried out with Suffolk having a 3.99% fail rate of all people who were breathalysed.

A total of 1,751 breath tests were carried out with 70 drivers providing positive readings. Of the 194 drug test conducted, 67 drivers failed.

This year saw specific time slots at Ipswich Magistrates’ Courts being reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively meant that offenders could lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “It’s always disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs, although it is a minority. Dozens of people caught during the campaign would have started 2018 with a minimum 12 to 18 month driving ban, which will have massive implications on their professional and social lives.

“We target drink drivers all-year round and my plea to motorists considering getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs is don’t – it’s simply not worth the risk.”

During the 2016 campaign 1,329 tests were carried out in Suffolk with 61 drivers failing the test, representing a fail rate of 4.58%.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, said: “I’d like to commend the great work of the roads policing unit over the Christmas period and their rigorous campaign to get drink and drug drivers off our roads. Every Christmas our message is the same and every year sadly there are still drivers that do not take heed. It is particularly upsetting to see a high percentage of the drivers tested for drugs were positive tests.

“Drivers need to understand that drink driving risks lives and the lives of others, it is grossly irresponsible and selfish. Too many people lose their lives on our roads. We’re doing all we can to keep our roads safe, we need everyone out on our county’s road to do the same.”

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