More than 200 charged in drink drive clampdown

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The first joint crackdown on drink and drug-driving across Sussex and Surrey has led to more than 200 motorists being charged with offences.

A total of 284 people were arrested as part of Operation Dragonfly, the crackdown across both counties that ran from December 1 2014 to January 1 this year.

For the first time, the campaign was run jointly by Sussex Police and Surrey Police alongside Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, Drive Smart in Surrey and the independent charity Crimestoppers.

Road policing unit officers were sent on dedicated patrols looking for offenders while teams also responded to tip-offs from members of the public who saw people getting into a car to drive when they knew they had been drinking or taking drugs.

Stop checks were set up at locations across Sussex and Surrey, in particular at locations where there had been a history of drink-driving.

In Sussex 178 arrests were made. 114 of those drivers have been charged with offences, with 21 of them having so far been convicted.

A total of 28 people are on bail after being arrested while no further action is being taken against 36 people.

Superintendent Jane Derrick, the head of road policing across Sussex and Surrey, said, ”This is the first time we have run a road policing operation of this kind across both forces with one set of tactics being delivered by local officers in their own areas.

“It has proven to be a great success and has already led to more than 30 offenders being taken off the streets.

“Officers co-ordinated their activities to carry out checks at points where we had intelligence that there were likely to be drink-drivers and the fact that 179 people have been charged with offences so far shows how effective that was.

“We are not complacent and know that drink and drug-driving remains an issue across the counties and will take action against anyone we suspect could be behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“We will be reviewing how the campaign went to see how we should do things differently to make sure we are putting officers where they can find the most offenders and I would like to thank the public for their assistance and patience during the operation.

“Although the campaign may have come to an end, officers are out on patrol every day in Sussex and Surrey looking for drink-drivers and anyone putting themselves and other road users at risk.

“We will not tolerate drink-driving and we are determined to do whatever we can to make the roads safer.”

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.

They can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. To keep up to date with officers looking for drink drivers, follow #opdrag
onfly on Twitter or if you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.