Arrest figures revealed after drink and drug crackdown on Surrey’s roads.
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A total of 40 arrests were made during a two-week crackdown on drink and drug-drivers in Surrey.
The 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.
Of the 237 vehicles stopped in Surrey as part of the campaign, 24 arrests were made for a positive drug wipe, 15 for a positive breath test, and one was made for both a positive drug wipe and breath test. These drivers will now face the legal consequences of their actions.
In Sussex a total of 85 arrests were made over the same period on Sussex’s roads.
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 know that you’re not going to be legal to drive, 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.
Last year in Surrey, a total of 83 crashes where drink driving may have been a factor resulted in one or more persons being injured. Two road deaths were also recorded where drink driving may have contributed to the circumstances.
The campaign coincided with the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s seatbelt operation, aimed to raise awareness of the potentially devastating consequences of not belting up in a vehicle. Not wearing a seat belt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys. Of the 72 vehicles stopped for potential seatbelt offences during the operation, 52 verbal warnings were given and 16 fixed penalty notices were issued. No action was required for the remaining vehicles stopped.
If you 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.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online. www.crimestoppers-uk.org