Drink-drive figures revealed as police prepare to launch festive crackdown
- Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC
More than 200 people were caught drink or drug driving in Norfolk and Suffolk over the festive period last year.
The figures have been revealed as police forces from both counties prepare to launch their winter drink-drive campaigns.
From December 1 through to January, officers from Norfolk and Suffolk police will carry out extra patrols and roadside checks.
Drivers will be breathalysed if they are stopped due to a vehicle defect, if there are concerns over their driving or if they have been involved in a crash.
Specific time slots at Norwich and Ipswich Magistrates' Courts have been reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving this year.
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This means that offenders could now lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.
The message behind this year's campaign is 'not all drink-drivers this Christmas will be young men'.
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Norfolk and Suffolk police said it aims to remind people it is not always the 'usual suspects' that drink and driver over Christmas.
Last year's campaign saw more than 3,000 drivers tested, with 152 people found to be over the drink-drive limit.
Eighty-two of those drivers were from Norfolk, while 72 were from Suffolk.
Police also carried out drug driving tests, with 35 people from Norfolk failing, compared to 43 in Suffolk.
Insp Jon Chapman from the joint roads and armed policing team, said: 'Statistically young men do form a large proportion of those whom we stop for drink-driving, however we are seeing more and more men, and increasingly women, aged over 35 who are drink driving, many with the attitude 'it will never happen to me.'
'It is quite harrowing as many of the people in this age range have been targeted by decades of campaigns about the dangers of drinking before getting behind the wheel. Last December, almost 92% of everyone who were arrested for drink driving offences nationally, were aged over 25.
'These are people from all backgrounds, ethnicity and genders. Many of them have professional careers.'
The public is encouraged to report any concerns relating drink or drug driving anonymously using Crimestoppers on http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/