Suffolk: Four people a day caught drink driving over Christmas and New Year
19:43 09 January 2014
More than four people a day were caught over the drink drive limit in Suffolk during a joint Norfolk and Suffolk Police campaign this Christmas and New Year.
Furthermore the percentage of those found to be over the limit following a collision was nearly double that of the year before.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said drivers, “do not seem to be getting the message”.
The campaign began on December 1 last year and saw the two forces working together to provide a visible presence throughout the day and night, seven days a week until its conclusion on New Year’s Day.
Throughout the two counties officers were on patrol stopping any driver who caused concern due to their manner of driving or a vehicle defect, then conducting breath tests as well as testing all drivers involved in collisions.
In total in Suffolk 1980 people were stopped and breath tested of which 138 were found to be over the limit. This equates to 7% of the tests carried out being positive, which on average is just over four people (4.31) caught every day in Suffolk during the campaign.
Notably 58 of 415 breath tests that were carried out following collisions came back as positive, which equates to nearly 14%. This is up from 6.6% in the 2012 campaign.
Chief Inspector Chris Spinks of the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit said: “It is disappointing that 7% of the tests carried out were positive.
“Despite the fact that we highlight the drink drive campaign and the obvious dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, 138 people still risked their lives and the lives of others. This is evident in the decision of 58 people to drink and drive resulting in a collision.”
“Those who drink and drive need to realise that their actions can have devastating consequences and while this particular campaign has ended, our commitment to target drivers affected by drink and drugs remains and checks will continue throughout the year.”
Also during the campaign the Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership asked licensees to consider how they would feel if one of their customers were involved in a collision and encouraged them to support the campaign by offering free or discounted soft drinks to designated drivers.
Around twenty licensed premises throughout the county supported the Designated Driver Scheme during the campaign.
Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said: “Driving under the influence is not acceptable and can lead to you losing your licence, job and life. Any alcohol in your system can impair your judgement, cause difficulty assessing road conditions and ultimately cause a serious collision.
“We’re delighted that a number of publicans have supported the campaign this year and we hope to build on this initiative in future years to lower the number of people who drink and drive.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner added: “I find it really staggering that despite the obvious dangers and the huge amount of publicity, drivers do not seem to be getting the message. Drivers need to understand that drink driving risk their lives and the lives of others.
“I fully support the Constabulary’s approach to tackling drink driving and hope that slowly but surely the message is getting through, that drink driving wrecks lives and is totally unacceptable.
“I am really pleased to see the number of licensees taking part in the Designated Driver Scheme again this year. It is a really positive initiative which I am sure has an impact on the drink driving in the county.”