Drug-driving arrests in Suffolk as high as drink-driving

Launch of the annual Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Christmas drink and drug driving arrests have increased in Suffolk and Essex - Credit: Archant

The number of people arrested for drink or drug-driving during December has increased in both Suffolk and Essex when compared to 2020, latest statistics have revealed. 

More than 80 motorists have been arrested for drink or drug-driving in Suffolk during December so far, while 113 people have been caught in Essex. 

The statistics in Suffolk, relating to the force's December crackdown, showed that 41 people have been arrested for drink-driving, with officers arresting a further 41 for drug-driving. 

Out of the 82 total arrests, 34 have currently been charged to court, while 20 have faced expedited court appearances. 

The figures for the first half of December in Suffolk are already close to last year's total number of arrests in the county during the crackdown when 86 drivers were arrested. 

However, coronavirus restrictions during December 2020 meant fewer people were on the roads and socialising over Christmas. 

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore backed the Christmas crackdown - Credit: Archant

Suffolk's emergency services launched its month-long festive crackdown on December 1, with the message there is 'no excuse' for drink or drug-driving. 

Speaking at the launch, Tim Passmore, Suffolk 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.

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"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."

In Essex, a total of 63 motorists have been arrested for drink driving offences with 50 arrested for drug-driving from December 1 to December 16. 

The halfway number of drink and drug arrests in Essex currently equals the total figure of 113 from 2020. 

At the Essex festive crackdown launch, Adam Pipe, head of roads policing in Essex, urged drivers to heed this year's campaign message: "This Christmas, make their present your presence."

Adam Pipe, Essex Police Casualty Reduction Manager

Adam Pipe, Essex Police Casualty Reduction Manager - Credit: Archant

“Alcohol and driving doesn’t mix. Don’t let it ruin your festivities, leaving your loved ones at home waiting for you to be released from custody, or worse, never coming home at all," he said. 

“The consequences of drink driving can be life-changing – it could lead to you losing your licence, your career, your home. Or worse, it could cost you or someone else their life.  

“It won’t just affect you, it will affect your partner, your parents and your children.  

“Imagine the face of your child on Christmas morning as they open their present, but you’re not there. 

“Your presence means the world to them, why wouldn’t you want to be there for them?”