‘Surprising and disappointing’ arrest tally for festive season

A Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers led to 110 arrests in Sussex in just 15 days.

The annual campaign aims to educate motorists about the dangers of driving under the influence, and target those who put the lives of themselves and others at risk on our roads.

A total of 110 arrests were made by Sussex Police during the operation which ran from Wednesday December 18th to Wednesday January 1st – 73 on suspicion of drink-driving and 37 on suspicion of drug-driving.

This dedicated campaign is run in conjunction with Surrey Police, and is in addition to Sussex officers responding to reports of drink and drug-driving 365 days a year.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “I’m surprised and hugely disappointed that drink and drug-driving is still considered by some people to be socially acceptable.

“While the vast majority of motorists abide by the law, it seems there will always be a number of ignorant and selfish road users who refuse to take our advice on board. Not only do you risk ruining Christmas, you also risk ruining your life, or someone else’s.

“It shouldn’t take a trip to police custody to give you the wake-up call; motorists need to wake up now and be alert to the extreme dangers associated with driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Every year we arrest drivers who say they ‘only had a couple’ or they were “only around the corner”. We’ve heard every excuse in the book, but the bottom line is there is no excuse.

“Change your behaviour now, or it could change your life forever.”

Details of people convicted as part of the campaign will be published on the Sussex Police website.

The consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol 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 your current and future employment;
  • An increase in your car insurance costs;
  • 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.

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