Increase in number of drink-drivers arrested in Suffolk over Christmas period

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A total of 172 suspected drink-drivers were arrested in Suffolk during last month's Christmas crackdown – 60 more than in 2014, according to police.

Suffolk Constabulary said nine per cent of the 1,920 drivers tested in December were over the limit compared to five per cent (109 out of 2,190 motorists tested) the previous December. A further 25 people were arrested on suspicion of drug-driving out of the 45 drug tests conducted last month.

Commenting on the drink-drive failures 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 nine per cent 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.

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'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.'

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In Norfolk 1,429 tests were carried out between December 1 and January 1 with 90 drivers (6.3 per cent) providing positive samples.

Inspector Julian Ditcham, of the Norfolk and Suffolk roads policing unit, said: 'The results show 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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