A total of 83 arrests were made during a two-week crackdown on drink and drug-drivers in Sussex.
The shocking figure can be revealed after the fortnightly operation – run by both Surrey Police and Sussex Police to keep people safe and target offenders on our roads – concluded on Sunday evening (12 July).
Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “It’s really disappointing that some people still choose to risk the lives of themselves and others by driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
“These irresponsible individuals increase the chances of serious injury or fatal collisions occurring, which impacts hugely on the lives of those injured and the families of those that die on our roads, who continue to try and cope without their loved ones in their lives.
“While it is our duty to respond to emergency situations, it goes without saying that such incidents could be easily avoided if people listen to our advice, listen to their conscience, and make the right decision.
“If you’re going to be consuming drink or drugs, make sure you plan ahead – walk home if you can, book a taxi, take public transport or get a lift with someone sober. Never get into a vehicle if you suspect the driver is under the influence; you might live to regret it.”
The campaign was run by the forces in conjunction with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart Surrey, and is in addition to routine roads policing, which involves responding to reports of drink and drug-drivers 365 days a year.
It was also run for two weeks in June and July 2019, which coincidentally resulted in the same number of arrests – 83.
This year’s campaign coincided with the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s two-week seatbelt campaign, which resulted in 43 fixed penalty notices being issued for offences in Sussex between 29 June and 12 July.
In 2019, a total of 289 collisions involving a drink-driver were recorded in Sussex. Of these, 70 resulted in serious injuries and a further four resulted in death (stats not currently available for drug-driving related collisions).
Details of people convicted as part of the campaign will be published on our website.
If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:
- 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.