Motorists who get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs will be targeted by police as officers take part in a month-long campaign.
Police in Norfolk and Suffolk will be carrying out extra patrols as part of the summer drink drive campaign throughout June; breathalysing any driver who is stopped due to concerns over the manner of their driving, a vehicle defect or anyone involved in a collision.
This year’s campaign coincides with the European Championships 2016 and football fans are urged not to risk drink driving if heading out to watch matches.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “We target suspected drink and drug drivers all year round but this campaign allows us to raise awareness of the dangers, which a minority of motorists still chose to ignore.
“This year’s campaign coincides with Euro 2016 and while watching matches is very social, either down the pub or going round a friend’s house, we would urge people not to be tempted to drink and drive.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower, therefore increasing the chance of being involved in a collision.”
The campaign will run from Wednesday 1 June until Thursday 30 June and involves targeted roadside activities by roads policing officers with support from uniformed officers across both counties.
Last year (2015) nearly 200 motorists were caught drink driving in Norfolk and Suffolk while 26 drivers failed roadside drug tests. In total 194 motorists provided positive breath tests, 78 in Norfolk and 116 in Suffolk, with three people in Norfolk and 23 in Suffolk failing roadside drug tests.
Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an irresponsible and selfish thing to do. I attach great importance as Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner to keeping our roads safe by closely working with Norfolk Police and partner agencies.
“Some drivers still don’t grasp the fact that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous and unacceptable. Too many people have lost their lives because of the reckless actions of thoughtless individuals.
“It is just not worth the risk and should not be tolerated by the community. We all have a part to play in keeping our roads safe. Don’t let your friends or family drive under the influence of drink or drugs.”
Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said: “As the weather improves and Euro 2016 starts, I welcome this timely campaign to remind drivers not to drink and drive.
“It beggars belief that despite the obvious dangers, too many drivers still take to the road under the influence of drink or drugs. All drivers need to understand that drink driving risks lives and the lives of others, it is grossly irresponsible and selfish.
“I hope that slowly but surely the message is getting through, this cavalier attitude to safety is completely unacceptable and I urge drivers to take heed. Sadly too many drivers have still not learnt the lesson – drink driving kills.”