Over 150 arrests made during Christmas campaign against drink and drug driving

Police in Suffolk made 157 arrests during the annual Christmas campaign highlighting the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

The month-long initiative ran between Thursday, December 1, until Sunday, January 1, in conjunction with a UK-wide operation organised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

This year the constabulary combined with a number of other forces across the country to speak with one voice, promoting the message: “Drink Driving – Together We Can Stop It.”

The campaign involved officers carrying-out roadside checks throughout the day and night, as well as intelligence-led enforcement activity. Alongside this, social media messaging was used to urge the public to “help prevent, persuade and call police” on drink drivers.

A total of 907 motorists were stopped or dealt with by officers in Suffolk, 17% of whom were arrested as follows:

  • 82 on suspicion of drink-driving (800 people breathalysed in total, with 718 providing negative tests);
  • 62 on suspicion of drug-driving (94 people tested in total, with 32 providing negative tests);
  • In addition, seven people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen; and six people were arrested for being unfit through drink or drugs

Of all the people who failed a test, 85% were male and 20% were under the age of 25-years-old.

Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads & Armed Policing Team, said: “Unfortunately the necessity for this annual campaign has been proven once again due to the significant numbers of arrests officers have made – on average it equated to almost five people arrested per day.

“I continue to be both dismayed and extremely concerned that so many people are 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.

“We joined together with a number of other forces across the country this year to deliver a clear and consistent message around shared responsibility with particular regard to drink-driving, which was: ‘Together We Can Stop It.’

“This aimed to get people to think about the steps that you can take when out drinking with friends and family which could ultimately save a life. If you know someone has had too much to drink and they are going to attempt to drive, you should take action to prevent them from doing so.

“Although we highlight drink and drug driving at this time of year, it is of course something we enforce 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We will continue to play our part in removing offending drivers from the roads, but we ask members of the public to also do their civic duty at all times – if you have the opportunity to stop someone from getting behind the wheel in the first place, your action could save a life.”

Anyone with information about suspected drink or drug driving should contact Suffolk Police, by either emailing their local Safer Neighbourhood Team – the details of which can be found here: www.suffolk.police.uk/your-area – or by calling 101.

In case of an emergency, or if you believe a crime is in progress, always dial 999.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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