Sussex Police will crack down on drink and drug drivers over the coming fortnight, the force pledged today (Friday 26 June).
The annual summer crackdown is due to start on Monday (29 June) and is intended “to educate motorists about the dangers of driving under the influence”.
Officers will also target offenders who pose a risk to themselves and other road users, Sussex Police said.
The force added that “while officers routinely respond to reports of drink and drug-driving 365 days a year, patrols will be increased” from Monday 29 June to Monday 13 July.
The timing of the campaign coincides with the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s seatbelt operation, aimed at raising awareness of the potentially devastating consequences of not belting up in a vehicle.
Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Our priority is to keep everyone as safe as possible on our roads and to deal robustly with anyone who compromises the safety of themselves or anyone else.
“Much of this is down to education and enforcement of the ‘fatal four’ offences – speeding, drink and drug driving, mobile phone use and not wearing a seatbelt.
“These are the four most common causes of fatal and seriously injury collisions on our roads.
“I’m sure people will have heard me warn them about these dangers before but the message remains the same as I am committed to saving lives.
“Drink and drug driving destroys lives. It’s as simple as that.
“While the vast majority of motorists drive safely and responsibly, there continues to be a small minority who think they are above the law.
“Whether you ‘feel fine’ or were ‘just around the corner’, we’ve heard every excuse in the book.
“But there’s no excuse for ever driving under the influence of drink or drugs.”
Sussex Police said that four people died as a result of drink driving in the county last year and 289 crashes involving a drink driver led to one or more people being injured.
Chief Inspector Hodder said: “These are statistics which are wholly avoidable. By choosing to drink drive, you are choosing to put your life – and the lives of other innocent road users – at risk.
“We’ll continue to proactively patrol our counties’ roads and respond to reports of drink and drug-drivers when we receive them. We can’t be everywhere but we could be anywhere.
“Think carefully before you make your next journey. It could be your last.”
Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I am always dismayed by the number of people who choose to get behind the wheel of their vehicle when they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
“This is totally irresponsible and potentially life-threatening behaviour.
“Those who are caught over the limit should be in no doubt that they will face the legal and social consequences of their actions which could mean, fines, imprisonment, losing their licence and their livelihoods.”
Sussex Police added: “Anyone caught and convicted as part of the summer 2020 crackdown will be identified on the Sussex Police news website and social media pages.
“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 555111 or report it online.
“If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.”