Four drivers a day over drink-drive limit

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Police chiefs in Suffolk have been left disappointed at the results of a month-long drink drive campaign after it revealed that more than four drivers a day were above the legal limit.

Following a joint campaign carried out by Suffolk and Norfolk Police between December 1 and January 1, 138 drivers out of 1,980 breath tested at the road side in Suffolk were found to be over the limit.

Out of those breath tested 415 came following collisions, from which 58 returned positive readings, which equates to nearly 14 per cent, a figure which is 6.6 per cent up on a campaign carried out between December 1 2012 and January 1 2013.

“It is disappointing that seven per cent of the tests carried out were positive,” said Chief Inspector Chris Spinks of the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit.

“Despite the fact that we highlight the drink drive campaign and the obvious dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol 138 people still risked their lives and the lives of others.

“Those who drink and drive need to realise that their actions can have devastating consequences, and while this campaign has ended our commitment to target drivers affected by drink remains.”

Echoing Chf Insp Spinks views was Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmaore, who said: “I find it staggering that despite the obvious dangers and the huge amount of publicity, drivers do not seem to be getting the message,” said Mr Passmore.

“Drivers need to understand that drink driving risk their lives and the lives of others .

While expressing his concerns over the results of the drink drive campaign Mr Passmore was delighted however to see the number of licensees sign up to the Designated Driver Scheme.

Promoted by the Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership the scheme asked licensees to offer free or discounted soft drinks to designated drivers.

As a result around 20 licensed premises signed up.

“I am really pleased to see the number of licensees taking part in the Designated Driver Scheme again this year,” said Mr Passmore.

“It really is a positive initiate which I am sure has had an impact.”

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, hopes that the project will now develop year-on-year.

“We’re delighted with the number of publicans who supported the campaign this year and we hope to build on it in future years,” he said.