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12 January 2011, 15:20
Police have released the results of their Christmas drink drive awareness campaigns today, and whilst there were fewer people caught doing it in Norfolk during December, the number of people arrested for drink driving in Suffolk went up.
Suffolk police say they're "disappointed" with the number of people still determined to "put careers on the line" following the end of the Christmas 2010 drink-drive awareness campaign.
Figures show a 2.4% increase from last year, with 102 drivers out of 1,118 stopped (9.1%) arrested for drink-driving. This shows a significant rise from December 2009 when only 6.7% of those breath tested were positive.
The police's month-long campaign began on 1st December 2010 and saw officers conduct breath tests across Suffolk. Around three drivers were caught over the drink-drive limit everyday during the campaign.
Chief Inspector Ady Dawson says he's angry that motorists continue to dice with death and risk everything for alcohol:
"We set out to eradicate this scourge from society, but we can only do so much. We’re truly disappointed in the attitude shown by a significant number of people who don’t seem to care about risking their lives, their job and social embarrassment. We will not tolerate drink or drug-driving and will continue to pursue these criminals throughout the year."
Norfolk Police however have hailed their Christmas Drink Drive campaign a success, with a significant drop in people testing positive despite more drivers being tested in comparison with 2009.
In total 5,978 Norfolk drivers were tested with only 60 registering positive readings, compared to 5,152 drivers tested in the Christmas 2009 campaign with 96 testing positive.
The police enforcement campaign ran alongside the Think! Norfolk partnership initiative and saw advertising supporting officers encouraging drivers to consider alternative forms of transport if they felt they were still over the limit.
Think! Norfolk Chair Iain Temperton greeted the good news by saying:
"I am pleased to see that the advertising campaign was successful in reminding people that the best option for an enjoyable festive season is to take alternative transport. These results show that a majority of Norfolk road users listened to our advice and didn’t put themselves or other road users in danger."
Inspector David Ball added:
"Drink driving ruins lives. Thanks to the vast majority of drivers who clearly got that message. Of those few still willing to risk their own as well as other people’s lives, 43 people who tested positive were over 25 and 17 were under 25. Whatever time of year it is, having none for the road is still the best course of action. It is important to remember that a great night can turn into an awful morning if you do drink and drive."
Anyone who suspects someone of drink-driving is asked to report them immediately to the police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.