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One Hundred Drivers Arrested In ‘Go Cold Turkey’ Anti-drink and drug Driving Campaign

Published on: 17 Jan, 2017
Updated on: 25 Jan, 2017

Surrey Police arrested 100 drivers during its 2016 festive campaign to put a stop to motorists getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

The latest operation, which used the simple message “Go cold turkey” and have none at all, ran from December 1 2016 through to January 1 2017.

Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit carried out dedicated patrols on the roadside at various locations across the two counties.

Half of those arrested have now been charged with drink related offences and are due at, or have already appeared at, court.

Of the remaining drivers arrested, 42 remain on bail, pending further enquiries, six face no further action and two are to be be summonsed.

Inspector Alan Nicholls of Surrey Police RPU said: “It is astounding that some people still choose to blatantly disregard their own and other road users safety by ignoring the warnings and driving whilst under the influence of intoxicating substances.

“Throughout the year we carry out enforcement activities but decided to use the simple message “Go cold turkey” and advise motorists not to drink or take drugs if driving in a bid to target would-be Christmas offenders.

“The guidance was aimed at preventing deaths and serious injury on the road network over the festive period but clearly it fell on some deaf ears.

“There were some alarming incidents reported which demonstrate why we work with our partners throughout the year to tackle such dangerous behaviours.”

A teenage girl who had only passed her driving test three weeks earlier was involved in a single vehicle collision in New Haw in the early hours of Saturday, 17 December. A roadside breath test was taken and she was nearly three times over the prescribed limit.

As a result, the 17-year-old was charged with drink driving and was banned from driving for two years after admitting the offence when she appeared at Guildford Youth Court on 4 January. She was also given a four-month youth supervision order.

A 37-year-old man from Haslemere was charged with drink driving after he was stopped when he was seen driving with a front tyre missing on the M25 at Egham on December 28 at around 4pm.

A roadside breath test proved positive and the driver, John Woolford of Haslemere, appeared at court and was disqualified from driving for 30 months, given a nine months community order and ordered to pay £85 fund charge and £85 costs.

The “Go cold turkey” initiative was supported by Drive Smart in Surrey and the independent charity Crimestoppers.

The general public played its part in supporting the campaign with everyone encouraged to be community minded and to report drivers to police if they were seen to be drink or drug driving.

Inspector Nicholls concluded: “Although the campaign has now drawn to a close, we remain as ever, 100 per cent dedicated to identifying those drivers who are drinking and drug driving and taking them off the roads of Surrey and Sussex.

“And I would like to specifically thank members of the public who picked up the phone and reported drink and drug drivers to us. Your actions led to arrests being made and ultimately lives saved.”

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