Drink drive madness
By John Goode on Thursday, 21st December 2000.
ALMOST three people are being arrested for drink-driving in Suffolk every day - less than a month after a national crackdown was launched.
Suffolk Police have reported that 53 drivers failed breath tests between December 1 and 18.
The drivers were stopped across the county, which includes the Newmarket and Haverhill areas.
In neighbouring Cambridgeshire, 67 drivers have been arrested since the hard-hitting campaign was launched on November 23,
Chief Insp Mike Gooch, of Suffolk Police traffic department, said: "There has been so much publicity in the past about the effects if drink-driving that no-one can honestly claim that they were unaware of the consequences.
He added the consequences of a mandatory driving ban for most offences involving drink could lead to people losing their jobs.
"These people would have got off lightly in comparison to those families who have to sit down to a Christmas dinner this year minus a beloved friend or member of their family who, because of a the selfish and ill-considered action of a drink-driver has been seriously injured or killed," he said.
He appealed to people celebrating in groups to appoint a designated driver who would not drink any alcohol.
Pc Vic Smith, Cambridgeshire police casualty reduction officer, said: "I never cease to be amazed at the number of people who, year on year, choose to ignore all the advice and warnings.
"There are a very large number of people who do act responsibly but it only takes one person to drink and drive to cause a tragedy."
With just four days to go before Christmas, police are reminding drivers they can expect to be breath-tested if they are involved in a collision or commit a moving road traffic offence.
They will also be tested if they are stopped for any other reason and the officer suspects they have been drinking alcohol.
Last year 95 people were arrested during December and the first two days of January on suspicion of drink driving. Twenty of these drivers were involved in road crashes.
This year an average of 20 people have been arrested on suspicion of drink driving each week, but since the launch of the campaign this has fallen to around 14.
Pc Smith added: "This year's campaign uses footage from real accidents and is stronger than ever but there are number of people who have already ignored the warnings.
"It's now time to say 'enough is enough'. If you are going to drink, then don't drive."
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