How much will Christmas cost you?
‘Deciding to drink and drive could cost you dearly this Christmas'- that's the message from Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies as both forces prepare to launch their Christmas campaigns.
The month-long operation against driving under the influence of drink or drugs will see officers in both counties carrying out extra patrols and roadside checks. Any driver who is stopped due to concerns over the manner of their driving, a vehicle defect or is involved in a collision will be breathalysed.
Specific time slots at Norwich and Ipswich Magistrates Courts have been reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively means that offenders could now lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.
Throughout the campaign roads policing officers will be using social media to share messages and provide updates on campaign results using @NSRoadsPolicing and via Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies Facebook pages.
During last year's campaign 2,649 drivers were tested with 224 drivers providing positive readings in total for both counties. In Norfolk 1,320 tests were carried out with 82 drivers failing while in Suffolk 1,329 tests were carried out with 142 drivers failing the test.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: "Anyone caught faces a minimum 12-18 month ban, however, deciding to drink and drive could cost you more than just your licence.
"Think seriously about how having no licence could affect your life; would you lose your job? How would you get the kids to school? How are you going to see family or friends this year?
"Remember, it is your decision whether you drink and drive. You are responsible. You must face the consequences which could include a serious collision where you or someone else is injured or killed. Drink driving is just not worth the risk.”
Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: "I attach great importance as Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner to keeping our roads safe by working closely with Norfolk Police and partner agencies. It is disappointing that, despite the warnings, some 80 people in Norfolk were caught flouting the law during last year's campaign.
"Under the #Impact umbrella we are keen to drive home key road safety messages to young people including how irresponsible it is to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs and how a momentary lapse in concentration can lead to disastrous consequences.
"We all however, have a part to play in keeping our roads safe so let's not make this festive season one to remember for all the wrong reasons. It is just not worth the risk. Too many people have lost their lives because of the reckless actions of thoughtless individuals.”
The campaign starts on Friday 1 December and runs until Sunday 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. The public are also encouraged to report any concerns relating drink or drug driving anonymously using Crimestoppers on http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/or 0800 555 111.