Sussex Police arrest 141 in summer drink drive campaign

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Police have stopped more people suspected of drink and drug driving on the county’s roads this June following a month of targeted checks.

The annual summer drink drive campaign, which started on June 1 and ended on Sunday, saw 3,748 breath tests carried out with 141 people arrested after either failing the test or being arrested for being impaired through drink or drugs. There were a further 11 people arrested at the checks for non drink drive related offences.

In the same campaign last year 117 people were arrested after 2,177 people were stopped.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas from the Road Policing Unit said, “I am pleased to see we’ve stopped more people during the month but its always sad to see some people still breaking the law.

“Everyone knows that drink driving is against the law but some people still think this doesn’t apply to them and continue to flout it.

“Alcohol contributed to 231 collisions last year but sadly some drivers still appear to ignore the facts. Although we target drink drivers during June and December every year, drink drive checks are part of our daily jobs.

“Static checks were set up around the county in hotspots and drivers were stopped, spoken to and breathalysed if officers had suspicions that they had been drink driving or required to complete an impairment test if they suspected they were under the influence of drugs.”

In 2012 Sussex Police launched a text number (65999) which allowed people to report anyone who they thought might be drink or drug driving in Sussex. Reports can be sent through, which should contain the vehicle’s make, model, colour and number plate with any information as where the car is and the time/date the driver is expected to be on the road

Chief Insp Nicholas added, “A number of drivers were stopped and breathalysed as a direct result of information received via the text number with three being subsequently arrested.

“We find the text number can be an effective way of people giving us information about drink drivers and they can make the report without anyone else knowing. A large amount of intelligence about drink and drugged drivers was received through this text number and road policing officers will be actively targeting these drivers over the forthcoming weeks.”

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, said, “Drink driving is totally unacceptable and it is absolutely right that Sussex Police is focusing education and enforcement on this aspect of road safety.

“An online poll, which is currently running on my website, identifies drink driving as one offence that local people would like to see more action on.

“Sussex Police and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership are working in partnership to improve road safety and reduce the number of road casualties and I would urge local people to also play their part in making Sussex safer. Responsibility for road safety is shared by every road user in Sussex. If you suspect someone of drink driving – report it.”

Chief Insp Nicholas added, “Drink driving can ruin lives and we are determined to crack down on those who think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel of their car while impaired by drink or drugs. The minimum sentence for anyone caught drink driving, no matter how little over the legal limit you are, is a 12-month disqualification from driving and a fine. The maximum penalty is six months’ imprisonment, even if you haven’t been involved in a collision.

“If you cause a serious injury or fatal accident then not only will you receive a sentence to reflect the result of your actions by the courts, you will also have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.”