Over 670 people were stopped and/or tested by police in Suffolk during the annual Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, with 170 drivers arrested.
The month-long initiative, which ran between 1 December 2019 and 1 January 2020 targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Additional patrols and roadside checks were carried out, with almost 25% of those tested failing.
In Suffolk, 562 breath tests were carried out with 67 drivers providing positive readings. Of the 82 drug tests conducted, 76 drivers failed. In addition, 10 people failed to provide a specimen and 17 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink and drugs.
During the previous year’s campaign, 772 drivers were breathalysed, with 72 providing positive readings. 183 people undertook roadside drug tests, which 76 people failed. In addition, eight people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen, while six people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink and drugs.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, Head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “It’s disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“These people not only risk their own lives but the lives of others. We have first-hand experience of having to deliver the devastating news to the families of those involved in fatal collisions that their loved ones have died. We would not wish this on anyone which is why we work hard throughout the year to tackle these crimes.
“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower and therefore increases the chances of being involved in a collision. The results from this year’s campaign show that we will target those who pose a danger to themselves and others on our roads and that they will be dealt with.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “I’m absolutely horrified that so many motorists believe it is acceptable to drive when under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This cavalier and selfish attitude to other people’s safety is unforgivable.
“Sadly the data shows these campaigns are necessary to help keep our roads safe and bring this minority of road users who choose to flout the law, to justice.
“For those selfish motorists who consider themselves above the law, my question is how would you feel if it was one of your family or friends who was either killed, or maimed for the rest of the lives, by a driver under the influence of drink and/or drugs?”