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More than 100 people arrested during Christmas drink and drug driving campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:21 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:21 12 January 2018

More than 100 people were arrested during a Christmas drink and drug driving campaign in Suffolk. Photo:John Giles/PA Wire

More than 100 people were arrested during a Christmas drink and drug driving campaign in Suffolk. Photo:John Giles/PA Wire

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More than 100 people were arrested during a Christmas drink and drug driving campaign which saw over 1,700 people breathalysed.

Suffolk Constabulary’s month long initiative began on December 1, 2017, and targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

A total of 1,751 breath tests were carried out with 70 drivers providing positive readings, leading to Suffolk having a 3.99pc fail rate.

Of the 194 drug tests conducted, 67 drivers failed.

This year specific time slots at Ipswich Magistrates’ Courts were reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving meaning offenders could lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed.

Peter Thomas, 44, from The Archway, Lowestoft was arrested on December 13 after providing a positive breath test following a collision with a brick wall.

He appeared at court the next day and was disqualified for three years and ordered to pay £400.

Chief insp. Kris Barnard, head of the joint roads policing and firearms operations unit, said: “It’s always disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs, although it is a minority.

“Dozens of people caught during the campaign would have started 2018 with a minimum 12 to 18 month driving ban, which will have massive implications on their professional and social lives.

“We target drink drivers all-year round and my plea to motorists considering getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs is don’t – it’s simply not worth the risk.”

During the 2016 campaign 1,329 tests were carried out in Suffolk with 61 drivers failing the test - a fail rate of 4.58pc.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore commended the roads policing unity for its “rigorous campaign”.

He said: “Every Christmas our message is the same and every year sadly there are still drivers that do not take heed. It is particularly upsetting to see a high percentage of the drivers tested for drugs were positive tests.

“Drivers need to understand that drink driving risks lives and the lives of others, it is grossly irresponsible and selfish.”

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