Police in Suffolk stopped 816 vehicles and made 124 arrests during the annual Christmas campaign highlighting the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.
The month-long initiative ran from Friday 1 December until Monday 1 January, in conjunction with a UK-wide operation organised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
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 remind the public there is #NoExcuse when it comes to driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
A total of 682 breath tests were conducted in Suffolk, alongside 134 drug wipes. Of those tests:
- 47 people were arrested following a positive breath test
- 66 people were arrested following a positive drug wipe
- 10 people were arrested on suspicion of being unfit through drink or drugs
- One person was arrested after failing a field impairment test
Of all the people who failed a test, 86% were male (compared to 85% last year) and 14% were under the age of 25 (compared to 20% last year).
Chief Inspector Vicky McParland, of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads & Armed Policing Team, said: “Despite casualties falling dramatically in the last 50 years, thanks to campaigns such as these, it is evident that they are still necessary.
“Nearly 250 people were arrested for drink and drug driving across Norfolk and Suffolk throughout the campaign – this is eight people on average every single day. I am incredibly disappointed to see this level of people choosing to put their lives and the lives of other road users at risk.
“Although our Christmas campaign gives us the opportunity to highlight the dangers of drink/drug driving to the public, it is something we enforce every day of the year. We will continue to work to remove dangerous drivers from Norfolk’s and Suffolk’s roads. There is #NoExcuse.”
Tim Passmore, Police & Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “I fully support the roads policing team in this annual campaign to rid our roads of drivers who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“It is very disappointing that this issue persists. I really would hope the message would have landed by now. There is never any excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel unfit to drive.
“I find it absolutely unbelievable that more than 15% of the 816 drivers stopped over the festive period were arrested, putting not only themselves but all other road users at risk. This contemptible behaviour is grossly irresponsible and selfish.
“I’d just like to point out that although this was a particular focus in December our roads policing officers cover the county 24/7, constantly monitoring driver behaviour so I would urge all irresponsible drivers to beware.”