“Jingle bells, here’s our cells, open every day; if you drive with drink or drugs, you’ll soon be on your way.”
This is the message being issued as Surrey and Sussex Police prepare to launch their 2018 Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.
A total of 56 people died in road traffic collisions in Sussex last year, 13 of which involved a drink-driver – 23% of all fatal collisions in the county, in addition, a total of 195 arrests were made in Sussex, of which at least 130 have since been convicted (* statistics from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership).
The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership has a morning-after calculator on its website, where you can find out roughly how long it takes before you can safely drive, see: www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk
If you are prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences, which 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 costs
- Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA
Andy Gooch, chief inspector of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Arguably the hardest part of any police officer’s job is telling someone that one of their loved ones has died. When you consider it could so easily have been avoided, it becomes even harder.’
“Drink and drug-driving destroys lives. It happens year on year and sadly, despite our repeated warnings, there will always be a minority of selfish and shameful individuals who still continue to put the lives of themselves and others at risk. Our aims of this campaign are to save lives.”
Surrey and Sussex Police will have officers committed to the campaign, which runs from Saturday, December 1 to Tuesday, January 1 inclusive. Details of those convicted – including name, age, address and occupation will be published online, in line with previous campaigns.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999, alternatively, people in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, visit the Operation Crackdown website, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report it online.
By Jacob White