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1 June 2016, 09:34
Surrey and Sussex Police's summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers begins next week.
Operation Dragonfly is a year-round strategy, run in conjunction with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, which targets offenders in a bid to prevent collisions and save lives on the roads across the two counties.
As part of the summer campaign, which runs from Monday (6 June) to Sunday 10 July, officers will be carrying out dedicated patrols to identify motorists who break the law – and risk the lives of themselves and others'.
Police made 170 arrests in Sussex as part of the operation in June 2015; 148 on suspicion of drink-driving and 22 on suspicion of drug-driving. This is compared to 143 the previous summer.
Sergeant Phil Badman, of the Surrey and Sussex Police Roads Policing Unit, said: "As part of this operation, we will be increasing patrols and carrying out routine checks on motorists in a bid to detect and deter drink and drug-drivers.
"However, it's important to note that while we will have officers dedicated to targeting offenders throughout the summer, it is a year-round operation and if you are caught, you will face the consequences.
"A lot of people like to have a drink when the sun is out, whether they are on holiday, having a barbecue or relaxing with friends. And while we encourage everyone to enjoy themselves and have fun in the sun, we also want them to act responsibly.
"If you're driving to an event or a venue, think about your journey home and plan ahead. Book a cab, take public transport or get a lift with someone who hasn't been drinking or taking drugs. And don't be tempted to get behind the wheel and drive yourself, even if you think you're fine.
"There is a thin line between being under and over the limit, and that's why we encourage people to drink or drive; not both. It's not worth the risk.”
To be consistent with previous operations, Surrey and Sussex Police will continue to identify anyone charged with drink or drug-driving.
And in addition to patrols and routine checks, officers will also act on intelligence to bring offenders to justice.
Sgt Badman added: "Members of the public also play a key role in making our roads in Surrey and Sussex safer – they can report anyone they believe to be drink or drug-driving anonymously, and it's quick and easy.
"Whether you suspect another road user is under the influence, you witness someone getting behind the wheel after drinking, or you are in a vehicle with someone who should not be driving, please report it. This can be done discretely and could help to save lives.”
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
To keep up to date with officers looking for drink or drug-drivers, follow #opdragonfly on Twitter.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit through drink or drugs, call 999.