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Dozens breathalysed as part of Christmas clampdown on drink and drug drivers

PUBLISHED: 14:54 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:04 04 December 2017

A driver takes a police breathalyser test on Woodbridge Road. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A driver takes a police breathalyser test on Woodbridge Road. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk police were out on force this morning conducting roadside checks on the outskirts of Ipswich as part of their winter drink driving campaign.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore talks about the drink-drive Christmas clampdown. Picture: GREGG BROWNPolice and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore talks about the drink-drive Christmas clampdown. Picture: GREGG BROWN

More than 35 drivers were pulled over by officers on Woodbridge Road for vehicle defects and traffic violations and breathalysed at the side of the road, although none of them were over the limit.

It comes as the force launches its annual campaign against drink and drug drivers.

PC Paul Fletcher said: “It is a campaign that is traditionally run over the festive period but our officers enforce it 365 days a year.

“We want to get the message across loud and clear that driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is unacceptable and if you get stopped you will be breathalysed, drug wiped, and will be dealt with quickly through the courts.

“The key word is responsibility, when you go out and enjoy yourself this Christmas take a second to think how you are going to get home.

“Use a taxi, public transport, friends, a mother or father - that’s the right decision rather than driving home under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Don’t have your keys in your pocket end up and driving home thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’.”

PC Fletcher added those going out for a Christmas party over the festive period should bear in mind they may still be unfit to drive the morning after.
“You need to think carefully about whether you are able to drive and take responsibility the next morning,” he said.

An officer speaks to one of the drivers pulled over on Friday morning. Picture: GREGG BROWNAn officer speaks to one of the drivers pulled over on Friday morning. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“Having a party finish at 2pm and getting in the car having only had a few hours sleep is not a good idea.”

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, who joined officers at yesterday’s stop checks, said: “I think this campaign is crucial part of improving road safety across Suffolk.

“The message is clear - there is no excuse to drink or drug driving, just don’t do it.

“The vast majority of people are responsible and don’t drink and drive but there is still this hardcore group of mindless idiots who continue. These people are a nuisance on the roads, putting other people’s lives at risk, and we don’t need them.”

The anti-drink and drug-driving campaign in force in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWNThe anti-drink and drug-driving campaign in force in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mr Passmore said officers would also be keeping a close eye on motorists speeding, using their mobile phone at the wheel and driving without a seatbelt.

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