A total of 26 arrests were made in the first 48 hours of a Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.
Chief Inspector Andy Gooch, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, which runs the campaign, said: “To have made so many arrests in such a short space of time – just days after we publicised our messaging around the risks of drink and drug-driving – is quite unbelievable.
“Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is stupid, it’s selfish and it’s downright shameful, and anyone caught and convicted will be held accountable for their actions. Not only can you expect a lengthy ban, a hefty fine and possibly a prison sentence, you’ll also get a criminal record, which could affect your job, your future insurance costs and your travel prospects.
“Worse still, you could kill yourself or someone else – last year in Sussex 13 people died in collisions which involved a drink-driver. Is it really worth it? We can assure you it’s not.”
The 26 arrests were made in Sussex on Saturday (1 December) and Sunday (2 December), and further statistics will be published as the campaign continues until its conclusion on 1 January 2019.
In line with previous campaigns, police will also publish details of those convicted, including their name, age, address and occupation.
Chief Insp Gooch added: “While this is a dedicated campaign which occurs twice a year during peak periods – at Christmas and in the summer – we will still respond to reports of drink and drug-drivers as part of our routine policing 365 days a year.”
If you’re going to consume drink or drugs, plan ahead – walk home, book a taxi, take public transport or get a lift with someone sober. Never get into a vehicle with someone you know is over the limit.
If you’re planning to drive after ‘just a couple’, it’s more than likely you’ll be over the limit.
Also be mindful of the amount of time it takes for substances to leave your body – you could still be over the limit the next morning, even if you’ve had several hours’ sleep.
Drink and drugs affect people according to a number of variants including your age, weight, height, gender and stress levels, to name a few.
The only way to safely guarantee you are under the limit is to drink OR drive; never both. If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:
- A minimum 12 month ban;
- An unlimited fine;
- A possible prison sentence;
- A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
- An increase in your car insurance;
- Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999. The campaign is being run in conjunction with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart in Surrey.