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200 Surrey Motorists Arrested During Drink and Drug Driving Crackdown

Published on: 11 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 11 Jan, 2024

More than 200 motorists were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving offences during December.

Officers from across the force made 208 arrests in Surrey during Operation Limit, a national campaign to tackle drink and drug driving, which ran from December 1 to January 1.

They also carried out more than 5,000 vehicle checks during the campaign, providing a visible deterrent to offenders and raising awareness of the dangers of driving after consuming alcohol or drugs.

Policing patrols on the roads continue 24/7, all year round, to catch offenders and prevent them causing serious harm to themselves and other road users.

Drink and drug-driving is one of the main causes of why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.

The number of arrests made last month was a 43 per cent increase on the number of arrests made during the campaign recorded a year before, when 145 arrests were made.

There was a rise in the number of vehicles stopped by police from 1,649 in 2022 to 5,023 last month, and there was also support from the public to report suspects to the police.

Chief Constable Tim De Meyer

Chief Constable Tim De Meyer said: “Our campaign highlighted the dangers of drink-driving as well as the very easy steps people can take to prevent it from happening.

“We continue to urge people to make the right choice by taking steps such as pre-booking a taxi, walking to a venue, or having a designated driver.

“The public can also do their part to persuade a drink-driver not to get behind the wheel, such as by offering to call a taxi, offering them a place to stay instead of drink-driving, and if necessary and safe to do so, by taking the car keys away from them.

“We are pleased that the public have shown support for our campaign, including where they have reported intoxicated drivers to us to help prevent a tragic collision.

“The increase in arrests also demonstrates the determination of our officers to catch offenders and ensure our roads are safer.

“The fact that there were more than 50 collisions goes to show just how dangerous driving after consuming drink or drugs can be.”

Surrey and Sussex Police’s Head of Roads Policing, Superintendent Rachel Glenton, said: “Officers across the force took part in this year’s campaign and our officers continue to patrol the roads 24/7, every day of the year, to prevent offenders from causing harm to themselves and others.

“But hundreds of motorists still took the selfish decision to drive or use a vehicle after they had consumed alcohol or taken drugs.

“The increase in arrests demonstrates the determination of our officers to catch offenders and ensure our roads are safer.”

PCC Lisa Townsend Photo Darren Pepe.

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lisa Townsend, who also leads on transport safety for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said: “Drink and drug driving are appallingly selfish acts that can, and do, kill.

“No one has the right to endanger the lives of innocent people on Surrey’s roads through this arrogant, entitled behaviour.

“During this crucial campaign, police in Surrey and Sussex increased the number of stops carried out by an astonishing 205 per cent, administered hundreds of drug wipes and thousands of breath tests, and arrested more than 200 people.

“The results of Operation Limit show just how seriously our officers take offending like this, and I’m very proud of the work that has been done to stamp out drink and drug driving.”

The consequences of drink or drug-driving 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;
  • You could also kill or seriously injure yourself or someone else.

Breakdown of statistics

  • Officers made 208 arrests, up from 145 in the previous year’s campaign.
  • Officers completed 5,023 vehicle stop checks, up from 1,649 in the previous year’s campaign.
  • There were 526 Drug Wipe tests carried out, with 120 returning a positive result.
  • There were 2,746 breath tests carried out, with 78 that were positive, refused, or failed to provide.

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