Shocking toll of drink drivers

POLICE have arrested almost 400 motorists for drink driving in east Suffolk during the past year alone.Fourteen of them have been caught in the first week of this month alone.

POLICE have arrested almost 400 motorists for drink driving in east Suffolk during the past year alone.

Fourteen of them have been caught in the first week of this month alone.

A senior officer described the figures as "shocking" and warned drink drivers they would be targeted in the run up to the festive season.

The 396 arrests were made in the eastern area of the county, which includes Felixstowe Woodbridge and Leiston.


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Detective chief inspector Phil Aves said: "The number of arrests is not unusually high but I think the recent ones show that there are still a core of people in the region who are continuing to disregard the law.

"It really is shocking for one area and amounts to more than one arrest a day, which is a startling figure. Rest assured that we will continue to target these in the run up to Christmas.

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"The worrying thing is that a range of ages have been stopped, it is not just the youngsters by any means.

"Males and females between the ages of 18 and 51 are continuing to take unacceptable risks despite the repeated warnings about the potential consequences of drinking and driving.

"I don't know why people are continuing to drink drive.

"Nothing seems to deter them, despite the fact that they face up to six months imprisonment, a substantial fine, penalty points and a driving ban."

But John Knight, from Campaign Against Drink Driving, thinks that more needs to be done to ensure that people stop drink driving once and for all.

"One problem is that drink driving isn't really covered in schools," he said. "When teenagers are thinking about driving or indeed starting to have lessons it would be sensible and useful if they covered drink driving in class.

"The alcohol and car industries could also introduce initiatives to try and encourage less people to drink and drive.

"In addition the courts should act as more of a deterrent by passing down harsher penalties, too often they are too lenient."

N The Evening Star's Christmas campaign naming and shaming drink drivers will resume again in December. Anyone appearing in South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich on a drink-driving charge throughout the month will have their case covered by the paper.

N What do you think should be done to prevent drink driving? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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