Police joining forces to catch drink-drivers

Police officers from across East Anglia uniting against drink driving at Lotus, Hethel. Inspectors l

Police officers from across East Anglia uniting against drink driving at Lotus, Hethel. Inspectors left to right Chris Spinks - Norfolk and Suffolk, Rachel Nolan - Essex and Richard Hann - Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.Photo: Steve Adams

The six police forces in the Eastern region are joining forces for the first time to present a united front against drink-driving this Christmas.

During December, officers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire will be stopping and breathalysing as many drivers as possible at all times of the day to reinforce the 'don't drink and drive' message.

Chief Insp Chris Spinks, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk roads policing unit, said: 'This is the first time that the six forces have joined forces to combat drink-driving at Christmas. And it also coincides with drink-drive campaigns across continental Europe this week.

'It means that wherever you are in the Eastern region, drivers will be subject to the same strategy with information being passed from each force to the next.

'We want to breathalyse as many people as possible, but it's not about catching people; it's about safer road use. We want each driver to know someone who has been breathalysed this Christmas.'

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Lotus, based at Hethel, is also working with the region's police by providing a fully liveried Lotus Evora S to help officers engage with drivers and spread the word about drink-driving.

Police said the Evora will enhance the work currently carried out with the Lotus driving simulator which is in use across the region educating drivers and road users.

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Chief Insp Spinks said the Evora would not be used as a regular patrol vehicle, but would be deployed across the region.

He said: 'It will act as a magnet for us to speak to 'boy racers' and others about drink-driving and safer road use. It has been lent to us by Lotus, so it has not cost taxpayers any money.'

But some motorists still continue to ignore the drink-drive warnings. During the festive season last year – from December 1 to January 1 – 83 drivers were more than the legal limit when tested by police. To date this year, 532 have been charged with drink or drug driving by Norfolk police.

In addition, alcohol has been identified as a factor in 13 of the 266 road traffic collisions in which people have been seriously injured or killed this year.

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