Surrey Police stops 600 vehicles in crackdown on ‘selfish and shameful’ drink-drivers

Surrey Police arrested 154 motorists for drink driving and drug driving over the Christmas period
Surrey Police arrested 154 motorists for drink driving and drug driving over the Christmas period

Surrey Police officers stopped more than 600 vehicle and gave 449 breath tests during a Christmas drink-drive crackdown.

They also administered 49 drug tests.

Some 154 arrests were made and 73 people were charged.

A spokesman said: “During the course of our campaign, which ran from 1 December to 1 January, our officers were out on dedicated patrols actively looking for offending motorists. This was done in a bid to prevent collisions and save lives on the roads across the county.

“Drink and drug-driving destroys lives. It happens year on year and sadly, despite our repeated warnings, there will always be a minority of selfish and shameful individuals who still continue to put the lives of themselves and others at risk.”

Chief Inspector Andy Gooch, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, added: “It is bitterly disappointing to see so many people arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving in such a short period of time. Of course we want people to have fun and enjoy the festivities, but don’t let that be at the expense of risking your life – and others’ – on our roads.

“The risks of such actions are well documented, yet despite our repeated warnings, there will always be a minority of people who make the conscious decision to get behind the wheel having consumed alcohol or drugs.

“It is encouraging to receive reports of suspected drink or drug-driving from members of the public. Our officers can’t be everywhere all the time, and we appreciate the public’s assistance in helping us detect potential offenders.

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“We take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and will respond to them as quickly as possible to achieve our two main aims of this operation – to keep all road users safe and to bring to justice those who break the law.

“I’d also like to thank our staff and officers who work tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of drink and drug-driving, and to crackdown on drink and drug-drivers 365 days a year. We have two dedicated campaigns at peak times of the year – during summer and at Christmas – however we will still actively pursue offenders all year round as part of our routine policing.

“Drink and drug-driving destroys lives, and it is one of the four major contributory factors of serious injury and fatal collisions in the UK.

“Please, think before you consider driving while under the influence – your next journey could be your last.”

People caught drink or drug-driving face a minimum 12-month disqualification, an unlimited fine and a possible prison sentence.

If a death is caused through dangerous driving while over the limit, it can result in a sentence behind bars of up to 14 years.