Drink and drug-drivers either ‘outrageously stupid or just don’t care’
A serious crash investigator has shared his frustration at having to repeat the same messages, as an annual drink and drug-driving campaign reached halfway with more than 80 arrests.
Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the roads and armed policing team, is weary of reminding people of the potentially deadly consequences of breaking the law.
The month-long campaign had generated 84 arrests as of Monday.
More than half (43) were on suspicion of drink-driving, while 39 were for drug-driving and two were for both drink and drugs.
Det Insp Hinitt said: "There are still far too many who don't listen.
"It's clear we're going to have to keep running this campaign. I don't know what more we can say.
"You would have to be in outer space to not know it's dangerous and against the law. We're fed up of pushing that message.
"You're either outrageously stupid or just don't care."
Five drink-drivers had more than 100 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35mcg.
This month, drink-drivers can expect to be fast-tracked into court and could appear in the dock within 24 hours of being arrested.
A common excuse put forward by defendants has been that their actions were 'out-of-character' and would never be repeated.
Det Insp Hinitt said: "Yes, there are people who took a chance and it's a one-off, but I would suggest some have taken that chance before and got away with it.
"The more you do it, the more chance there is of being caught.
"Some people seem to think it's not fair that they will lose their licence and might lose their job.
"What's not fair is that we have deal with the consequences if they end up killing someone.
"We're the ones who have to stand over bodies; we're the ones who have to knock families' doors.
He added: "I want people to take responsibilty for themselves - and to challenge other people who get behind the wheel over the limit.
"Plan your evening; make sure you catch a bus home, book a taxi, or have a designated driver sorted.
"It has become less acceptable over the years - and people are more willing to report it to us."
Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: "It's deeply disturbing that, despite all the publicity, we still have some grossly selfish people on the roads, putting lives at risk.
"It's totally unacceptable.
"Those convicted deserve severe punishment."
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.