More than 170 suspected Suffolk drink-drivers arrested during Christmas crackdown

Pc Andy Masterson checks motorists on the A140

Pc Andy Masterson checks motorists on the A140

One in 11 Suffolk motorists failed tests during a Christmas drink-driving crackdown last month.

Suffolk Constabulary today revealed 172 drivers (9%) of the 1,920 tested were arrested on suspicion of being over the legal alcohol limit.

Commenting on the figures, which were a rise on the same period on 2014, Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It beggars belief that despite the obvious dangers, too many drivers are still taking to the road under the influence of drink or drugs.

“I cannot believe that 9% of drivers stopped in Suffolk failed a breath test over the Christmas period. It’s just not good enough.

“All drivers need to understand that drink driving risks their lives and the lives of others. It’s high time that the message gets through to people, that drink driving wrecks lives and is grossly irresponsible and selfish. This cavalier attitude to safety is completely unacceptable. Sadly far too many drivers have still not learnt the lesson – drink driving kills.

“I trust the courts will hand out suitable sentences to act as a powerful deterrent.”

Between 1 December 2015 and 1 January 2016, 3,349 drivers were tested in Suffolk and Norfolk with 262 drivers providing positive readings in total for both counties.

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In Suffolk 1,920 tests were carried out with 172 drivers failing the test and in Norfolk 1,429 tests were carried out with 90 drivers (6.3%) failing.

Inspector Julian Ditcham of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit said: “The results show that it is the minority of drivers that were found to be drink driving in both Suffolk and Norfolk. But this is still too many and the percentage testing positive is higher than last year which is disappointing.

“We carry out campaigns like this all year round, but it is ever more prevalent at Christmas time, when the focus is around family and people celebrating the end of the year. We are always keen to highlight the dangers associated with getting behind the wheel while over the limit, the dangers to other road users and the consequences of being caught.

“You have to ask yourself, is that extra pint or glass of wine really worth increasing the risk of causing a serious collision or even death? How would you live with yourself afterwards knowing the consequences of your actions? What effect would it have on your life and family?

“I would also like to thank the local media, Crimestoppers and partner agencies for supporting the campaign and helping to spread road safety messages.”

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