15 suspected drug drivers and 13 suspected drink-drivers arrested during Christmas crackdown in Suffolk

The drug test used at roadsides. Pic: Suffolk Constabulary.

The drug test used at roadsides. Pic: Suffolk Constabulary. - Credit: Archant

More motorists were arrested for drug driving than drink driving in the first week of a seasonal crackdown in Suffolk, the EADT can reveal.

Sergeant Julian Ditcham breathalyzes a motorist

Sergeant Julian Ditcham breathalyzes a motorist

It has emerged 28 people were arrested by police, with 15 of those suspected of being under the influence of drugs.

Last night, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said the figures were a “very disappointing” start to the campaign.

Police in Suffolk introduced new roadside drug tests last year, and can now take a saliva swab to detect whether a driver has illegal substances in their system.

As with road side breathalysers, the tests are unable to give a definitive reading so suspects are taken into custody where a blood test is taken to ascertain the exact level of each specific drug and tell officers if they are over the legal limit.

Among those arrested on suspicion of drug driving was a 16-year-old from Ipswich. All those arrested have been bailed while awaiting results of the further tests.

Meanwhile five drivers have already been banned by Ipswich magistrates after admitting drink-driving.

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Factory worker Kit Francis, of Bells Lane, Glemsford, was disqualified for 20 months after being caught at 2.20am on Sunday last week.

The 22-year-old was stopped Melford Road, Sudbury due to the manner of his driving.

He had 65 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

In addition to his ban Francis was fined £100 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and £35 to the victims’ fund.

Robert McClung, of Stephensons Place, Bury St Edmunds was disqualified for 24 months after a breath test showed he had 92mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath after being stopped near the Arc shopping complex early on Sunday.

The 24-year-old, who is in the US military, was also fined £1,200, and ordered to pay £85 costs and £120 to the victims’ fund.

Soldier Ryan Cartwright, of Preston, was arrested after a crash in Ipswich Road, Needham Market, early on Sunday.

The 20-year-old was banned for 16 months and must pay a total of £315 in fines and costs.

He had 54mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath.

The same day Robertas Jablonskas, of Withersfield Road, Haverhill, was caught in the town after a CCTV operator reported a man was drinking beer and was in a car.

Jablonskas, 29, had 79 mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. He was given an 18-month ban and must pay £365 in fines and costs.

Henry Dewsbury-Stanners, of Gorlondes, East Harling, Norfolk, was arrested on the A11 at Elveden early on Sunday.

The 19-year-old student had 43mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. He has been disqualified for 12 months and must pay £215 in fines and costs.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is a very disappointing start to this campaign. It amazes me that despite the obvious dangers, too many drivers are still taking to the road under the influence of drink or drugs.

“I’d like to think the message is getting through but sadly it seems far too many drivers have still not learnt the lesson – drink driving kills.

“I am pleased that Suffolk Constabulary continues to focus on road safety; made possible by the additional investment in roads policing since I was elected. It means that drink drivers are more likely to get caught.”