'There is no excuse' - Christmas drink driving crackdown launched
- Credit: Suffolk police
Motorists are being warned there is "no excuse" for drink or drug driving over Christmas as Suffolk's emergency services launched their annual month-long crackdown.
The campaign, which begins on December 1 and runs until New Year's Day, will see officers carry out roadside checks throughout the day and night.
During last year’s operation in Suffolk, a total of 86 motorists were arrested, with 43 people failing breath tests and 30 people providing positive drug tests.
In addition, five people failed to provide a specimen and eight people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink and drugs.
Suffolk police said anyone charged and bailed for drink-driving in the county will appear at the next available remand court which effectively means offenders could lose their licence within 24 of being breathalysed.
Inspector Gary Miller, of the joint roads and armed policing team, said: “The aim of the operation is to target irresponsible and dangerous drivers, while protecting other road users from the harm caused by those motorists.
“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.
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"While that is the most devastating scenario, for the majority of offenders the consequences are more likely to be personal – for example, losing your driving licence which could then result in losing your job.
“As the campaign is highlighting, there really is ‘No Excuse’ for getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of drink or drugs – you are gambling with your life, the lives of others and your livelihood.
“Many people fall foul of still being over the limit the morning after a night out – or in the case of illegal drugs, several days later. Do not take the risk – there is no excuse and it’s not worth it.”
Representatives from Suffolk Roadsafe and the county's emergency services officially launched the initiative at Ipswich East Fire Station on Monday.
Suffolk police said the force will be using social media to show the day-to-day impact of motorists losing their licence.
The #noexcuse will be used alongside hypothetical scenarios outlining the common effects this often has on relationships, finances, career prospects and more.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, said: “Drink and drug driving kills and there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they are unfit to drive.
"I'd like to think the message is getting through but sadly it seems there are still drivers prepared to risk their own lives and the lives of others.
“I know the vast majority of drivers 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.
"Let’s all hope that this year those who have chosen to ignore the warnings in the past, take heed.
“Along with my Suffolk Roadsafe partners, I fully support Suffolk Constabulary in this campaign; it sends out a very clear message that drink/drug drivers are much more likely to get caught and prosecuted. There’s absolutely no excuse.”
Anyone with information about suspected drink or drug driving should contact Suffolk police, by either emailing their local safer neighbourhood team - or by calling 101.