Sixty people were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving in Brighton and Hove during the annual Christmas crackdown, Sussex Police said today (Tuesday 11 January).
This was 36 per cent more than the 44 arrests in Brighton and Hove over the Christmas and new year period the year before – and almost a quarter of the force-wide total.
Across Sussex 257 drivers were arrested, up from 212 arrests in the same period last year – an increase of 21 per cent.
Sussex Police said: “There were 137 arrests for drug driving, 111 for drink driving and nine arrests for both drink and drug driving.”
The annual enforcement campaign ran from Wednesday 1 December to Saturday 1 January inclusive.
And the force said: “During this year’s campaign, officers carried out more than 4,500 stop checks on motorists across Sussex.
“Of these, 1,591 drivers completed roadside breath tests, 319 drivers completed roadside DrugWipe tests and a further 18 motorists completed roadside field impairment tests.”
Chief Constable Jo Shiner, who is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for road policing, said that it was alarming that 58 of the arrests were made after a crash.
She said: “Our officers have heard all the excuses but there is no excuse for drink and drug driving – that 58 arrests were as a result of collisions demonstrates the behaviour and its link to roads safety.
“The selfish minority who do so are putting their own safety and the safety of everyone else at risk.
“The arrests we have made in our campaign show our officers are determined to catch offenders, and those suspected, and keep our roads safe.”
Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, from the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “These statistics are really disheartening.
“Although most road users are conscientious and law-abiding citizens, there is a stubborn minority of people who refuse to comply with the law.
“Not only is this putting their own lives at risk but also other innocent people’s lives as well.
“These people may think that nothing bad is going to happen to them but in reality even a small amount of alcohol or drugs can impair your judgment and seriously increase the risk of you injuring or killing yourself or someone else.
“Those who have been arrested and convicted as part of this campaign will be publicly named on our website and social media platforms.”
Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The figures from Sussex Police’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign show that 5 per cent of the 4,500 drivers stopped during the period were arrested after showing a positive test result.
“With hundreds of thousands of vehicles using our roads day and night, this could mean that thousands of people are taking the roads unfit to drive.”
Sussex Police added: “These reckless and selfish drivers need to be called out by their friends and peers and family before they wreck another family’s future forever.”
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