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Police Launch Christmas Crackdown on Drink and Drug-drivers Amid Warnings

Published on: 1 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 4 Dec, 2020

Surrey Police carrying out a breathalyser test.

A police Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers in Surrey was launched today (December 1), officers warning offenders will be dealt with “robustly”.

Since the beginning of 2018, more than 2,600 motorists have been arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving in Surrey

Until January 1, Surrey and Sussex Police will have extra resources dedicated to preventing and detecting drink and drug-driving, in addition to the routine roads policing.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “The consequences of drink and drug-driving are far-reaching.

“Even a small amount of alcohol or substances can massively impair your ability to drive safely, and you increase the risk of seriously injuring or even killing yourself or someone else.

“Imagine being responsible for something like that. Not only have you destroyed the life of that person and their loved ones, you’ve also destroyed your own life.

“In the past three years (October 2017 til September 2020), there have been 296 collisions in Sussex and 214 in Surrey which have resulted in death or serious injury, and where drink or drugs were the main contributory factor.

“Working with our divisional colleagues and partners including Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart in Surrey, we are committed to improving the safety of all road-users and reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSIs) on our roads.

“Our approach will target those at greatest risk, including motorcyclists, young drivers and vulnerable road-users, and we will make the road network a hostile place for those intent on criminality by denying them use of the roads.

“We will achieve this through a combination of measures including education, engineering and enforcement, and we will continue to improve the safety of the road network with special emphasis on reducing casualty rates of vulnerable users.”

Anyone arrested during this period and convicted will be identified on the police website and social media channels.

Chief Insp Hodder added: “It’s also important to add that drink and drug intake affects different people in different ways. This can depend on your gender, height, weight, and even stress levels, for example.

“You could also be over the limit several hours after you’ve stopped drinking, so make sure you give it enough time before you drive. Drugs stay in your system far longer.”

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said: “As we look forward to reunite with a small number of our closest loved ones for a few days this Christmas, avoiding alcohol or staying under the limit if you plan to drive remains important.

“Enjoy a respite from what has been a difficult 2020 by planning, such as designating a driver, and considering the risk if you are likely to be making more journeys, less likely to stay over, or travelling over fewer days.”

The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include:

• Killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else;

• A minimum 12-month ban;

• An unlimited fine;

• A possible prison sentence;

• A criminal record, which could affect present and future employment;

• An increase in car insurance; and

• Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.

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