Two arrested as Norfolk Police launch Christmas drink/drug driving campaign
Two people have been arrested in Norfolk in the first 24 hours of this year's Christmas drink and drug driving campaign
The annual initiative which began yesterday, Sunday 1 December, and runs until Wednesday 1 January, will see officers carrying-out roadside checks throughout the day and night – including early morning checks – as well as intelligence-led enforcement activity.
Motorists under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a contributory factor to a vast number of serious or fatal road traffic collisions.
Norfolk Police are encouraging members of the public to provide them with intelligence about potential offenders to help officers identify who they are, so they can take appropriate action and prevent such collisions from occurring.
For the first time this year, an online portal has been set-up to enable members of the public to report any concerns relating to suspected drink or drug-driving directly to the Roads and Armed Policing Team.
Specific time slots have once again been reserved at Norwich Magistrates’ Courts to deal with those caught drink-driving. This effectively means that offenders could lose their driving licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.
During last year's campaign in Norfolk 1,140 drivers were breathalysed, with 72 providing positive readings. 180 people undertook roadside drug tests, which 97 people failed. In addition, nine people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen, while 11 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink and drugs.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: "We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy festive season and so this is one of our most important annual campaigns. Despite our constant warnings and the publicity around the dangers and consequences of drink and drug-driving, too many people are still prepared to put their lives and those of other road users at risk.
"It's sad to see that within the first 24 hours we have seen five people across both Norfolk and Suffolk stopped for drink/drug driving offences. If you are responsible you must face the consequences, which can include a serious or fatal collision.
“Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is not a victimless act. Our officers and colleagues from across the emergency services have attended numerous collisions in which people have been seriously injured or killed, where alcohol or illegal substances have been the cause of the incident.
“Visiting the family of a serious collision victim to tell them their loved one has died or has been taken to hospital in a critical condition is perhaps the most difficult task our officers have to undertake. It is a terrible thing to have to tell people at any time of the year, but even more so at Christmas.
“Our message is simple, don’t take the risk – it’s not worth it. The worst-case scenario is that you are responsible for killing someone, ruining the lives of dozens of that person’s friends and family and a lengthy prison term to contemplate your actions.
“However, for the majority of people caught drink or drug-driving, the punishment will be a minimum 12-18 month ban, a substantial fine, and for some people the financial consequences could be more severe if losing their licence means losing their job.”
Anyone with information or intelligence about drink or drug driving can now submit this online via the portal link here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/363719P01-PO1
In case of an emergency, or if you believe a crime is in progress, always dial 999.
Alternatively contact the charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Follow the Joint Norfolk & Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team on Twitter @NSRAPT for updates throughout the campaign.