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150 Driving Arrests in Suffolk Over Christmas

today21 January 2022 38

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Police in Suffolk made 150 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 Wednesday 1st December until Saturday 1st January, in conjunction with a UK-wide operation organised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

The message of the campaign was ‘No Excuse’ and 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 show the day to day impact of losing your licence to drink or drug driving.

A total of 658 motorists were stopped or dealt with by officers in Suffolk, 23% of whom were arrested as follows:

–    74 on suspicion of drink-driving (542 people breathalysed in total, with 468 providing negative tests)
–    67 on suspicion of drug-driving (107 people tested in total, with 40 providing negative tests)
–    In addition, eight people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen; and one person was arrested for being unfit through drink or drugs.

Of all the people who failed a test, 85% were male and 21% were under the age of 25-years-old.

Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, of the Joint Roads & Armed Policing Team, said: “It is incredibly disappointing that so many people are still 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.

“Our message for the campaign was ‘No Excuse’ and it is that simple: there is no excuse for risking lives or injuring others; no excuse for causing damage to other vehicles or property; no excuse for putting your livelihood at risk – if losing your licence would mean losing your job, the consequences of that would likely have an impact beyond yourself, especially if you have a family.

“Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is one of the ‘Fatal Four’ offences, which makes you more likely to be involved in either a serious or fatal collision – alongside speeding, driving whilst using a mobile phone and driving without wearing a seatbelt.

“We raise awareness and carry-out enforcement activity in respect of these offences all year round and our officers are passionate about making the county’s roads safer for everybody – a fact which I believe is demonstrated by the 658 motorists they interacted with during the month-long campaign.

“Offenders be warned – we are out on the roads 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and if you are caught there will be no excuses.”

Tim Passmore, Police & Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they are unfit to drive, we all know drink and drug driving kills. It’s very disappointing to see, yet again, so many people failing the alcohol/drug test over the festive period, far too many drivers still prepared to risk their own lives and the lives of others.

“The vast majority of drivers on our roads are responsible but sadly there are still those, who despite the obvious dangers, insist on taking to the road under the influence of drink or drugs. My message to those irresponsible drivers who have chosen to ignore the law is take heed, our road policing officers are out across the county all day every day and if you get caught you will be prosecuted. There’s no excuse – don’t do it.”

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