Ipswich teenager one of 15 drivers arrested on suspicion of drug-driving in Suffolk in a week

PUBLISHED: 11:48 12 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:48 12 December 2016

Police are running their annual drink and drug drive campaign this Christmas

Police are running their annual drink and drug drive campaign this Christmas

A 16-year-old from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving during the first few days of Suffolk police’s annual Christmas crackdown.

Sergeant Julian Ditcham breathalyzes a motoristSergeant Julian Ditcham breathalyzes a motorist

The teenager was one of 28 people arrested by police during the first week of the seasonal campaign to crack down on drink and drug driving, with 15 of those suspected of being under the influence of drugs and 13 suspected of drink-driving.

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

All those arrested on suspicion of drug-driving have been bailed while awaiting results of further tests.

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.

Five drivers have already been banned from the roads by Ipswich magistrates after admitting drink-driving including soldier Ryan Cartwright, of Preston, who was arrested after a crash in Ipswich Road, Needham Market, early last 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.

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.”

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