It's been another busy weekend for roads policing officers across Sussex targeting drink and drug-drivers in the Christmas crackdown.
Despite publicity around the launch of the campaign and the 26 arrests made over the first weekend, a further 20 drivers were arrested on Saturday and Sunday (December 8-9), bringing the total to 72 in just eight days.
Chief Inspector Andy Gooch said: "Incredibly, seven of these were in a period of less than four hours between 11.30pm and 3.18am. Sadly, somebody has already died this month where drug-driving was possibly a factor and I really can't understand why people continue to be so stupid and so selfish.
“If you are caught and convicted, you will be held accountable for your actions. Not only can you expect a lengthy ban, a hefty fine and possibly a prison sentence, you’ll also get a criminal record, which could affect your job, your future insurance costs and your travel prospects.
"While this is a dedicated campaign which occurs twice a year during peak periods – at Christmas and in the summer – we will still respond to reports of drink and drug-drivers as part of our routine policing 365 days a year.”
The average age of those arrested is 37, the youngest being 18 and eldest 74. Men make up the significant majority of offenders - 60 (83.33 per cent) against 12 women (16.66 per cent).
If you’re going to consume drink or drugs, plan ahead – walk home, book a taxi, take public transport or get a lift with someone sober. Never get into a vehicle with someone you know is over the limit.
If you’re planning to drive after ‘just a couple’, it’s more than likely you’ll be over the limit.
Also be mindful of the amount of time it takes for substances to leave your body – you could still be over the limit the next morning, even if you’ve had several hours’ sleep.
Drink and drugs affect people according to a number of variants including your age, weight, height, gender and stress levels, to name a few.
The only way to safely guarantee you are under the limit is to drink OR drive; never both.
If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:
- 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
- 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.