'Don't gamble with people's lives' - Drink and drug driving warning issued

Library photo of a motorist stopped by police taking a breath test as Suffolk Police launches is annual drink and drug...

Library photo of a motorist stopped by police taking a breath test as Suffolk Police launches is annual drink and drug crackdown at Christmas. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire - Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

People are being urged to enjoy the festive season safely and not risk the lives of others.

That is the message from Suffolk Police as they launch their month-long Christmas campaign highlighting the dangers of drink and drug driving.

Running until January 1, officers will  be carrying-out roadside checks throughout the day and night as well as intelligence-led enforcement.

The aim is to target irresponsible and dangerous drivers, while protecting other road users from the harm caused by those drink or drug driving.

During last year’s campaign in Suffolk, 562 breath tests were carried out with 67 drivers providing positive readings.

Of the 82 drug tests conducted, 76 drivers failed.

As well as this, 10 people failed to provide a specimen and 17 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink and drugs.

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Anyone charged and bailed for drink-driving in Suffolk will appear at the next available remand court and so this effectively means that offenders could lose their driving licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed, while facing additional fines.

Temp chief inspector Jon Chapman, head of the joint roads and armed policing team, said: "This has been a very difficult and challenging year for everyone, with little opportunity to get together with loved ones or celebrate special occasions.

"With that in mind, we are more than aware that many people will be desperate for some respite over the Christmas period and the chance to share a drink with friends and family.

"We want people to be able to enjoy themselves, but to do so sensibly and without risking the lives of others.

"Please don’t gamble with peoples’ lives for the sake of a drink and do not let anyone you know do so either – the same applies if you know someone has used drugs."

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: "I hope all drivers will heed the warning and consider, not only the danger they put themselves and other road-users in, but also the implications if they get caught.

"It really is not worth it."

Anyone with information about suspected drink or drug driving should contact Suffolk Police on 101.