86 Norfolk drink and drug drivers arrested over Christmas

Norfolk police start their summer drink drive campaign stopping motorists on the Newmarket Road. PC

Norfolk police arrested more than 80 drivers during their annual Christmas drink and drug driving blitz - Credit: Denise Bradley

Almost 90 people were arrested by Norfolk police during their Christmas drink and drug driving campaign.

The month-long initiative, which began on Tuesday, December 1 and ended on Friday, January 1, ran in conjunction with a UK-wide operation led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

It saw officers carrying-out roadside checks throughout the day and night, as well as intelligence-led enforcement activity.

This year, 46 drivers provided positive readings, while eight failed to provide a specimen and four were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink and drugs. A total of 86 motorists were arrested as a result. Meanwhile, 28 people failed roadside drug tests.

Last year, 95 drivers provided positive breath tests, while 15 people failed to provide a specimen and 22 people were deemed unfit to drive through drink and drugs, with a total 132 arrests made.

Temp Chief Insp Jon Chapman, head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: "While fewer people have been caught drink or drug driving during this campaign, I think we have to acknowledge the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be a significant factor in that.

"With more people working from home the roads were obviously quieter and with the hospitality sector closed during December, people were not taking unnecessary risks after a night out at a pub or restaurant.

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"However, it is disappointing to see that people are still prepared to gamble with their own life and the lives of others. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower and therefore increases the chances of being involved in a collision.

"Expect to be dealt with appropriately if you are caught drink/drug driving; speeding; using a mobile phone; or not wearing a seatbelt. The risks are not worth it – you could lose your licence, be arrested, or - in the worst scenario of all - kill someone.”

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said: "I am pleased to see a reduction in the number of people caught offending this year, but this doesn’t mean we can or will put the brakes on our work to keep the county’s roads safe. Drive responsibly, the life you save may even be your own.”