Sussex Police’s campaign to target drink and drug drivers throughout the month of December resulted in the arrest of 208 people.
Between 1st December 2016 and 1st January 2017 officers carried out dedicated patrols targeting those suspected of driving while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol and raise awareness of the risks and possible consequences.
In the past week a further 27 people were convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, bringing the number of those prosecuted in Sussex as part of the campaign so far to 51.
Superintendent Chris Moon, head of roads policing for Surrey and Sussex, said:
While I am pleased to see that those caught breaking the law are facing the consequences of their actions by way of prosecution, it is still disappointing to see that a small minority of drivers think it is acceptable to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while under the influence is a serious offence and it won’t be tolerated.
Just over 28 per cent of those arrested in Sussex during the campaign were unfit to drive through drugs or were over the specified limit for having a controlled drug in their system. This follows the introduction of prescribed limits for a number of legal and illegal drugs in March 2015. Since this time our officers have been using roadside drug wipe testing kits which take swabs from the motorist and can detect cocaine or cannabis use within 10 minutes.
The consequences of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs isn’t just a fine or a driving ban. You could lose your job, your family and potentially cause significant injury or even death. I would urge all drivers to think carefully before they get behind the wheel of their car.
Among the 27 convicted in the past week was Aaron Simpson, 22, a labourer, of Coopers Wood in Crowborough. Mr Cooper was arrested on 17th December in Coopers Lane and charged for driving with twice the legal limit of alcohol in his breath.
He pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 5th January and was disqualified from driving for 17 months. He was also ordered to pay a £260 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or report people by visiting www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.