Public texted Sussex Police over Christmas over suspected drink-drivers

Sussex Police have vowed that their hardline crackdown against drink-drivers will continue throughout 2013 following the success of their Christmas campaign.

Throughout December, Sussex Police used the power of social media to drive home the campgian.

Police used Facebook and Twitter to spread the Drink Or Drive message, as well as encouraging the community to report any concerns through a dedicated short text number

During the month, 88 reports were submitted by text which, according to Sussex Police, helped them to direct resources where they were most needed.

Overall, officers arrested 128 drivers in the county in December, conducting close to 4,000 breath tests.

Over the four-week campaign, Sussex Police conducted a total of 3,987 breath tests as they, and their partners in the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, continued to put pressure on those who thought that getting behind the wheel after drinking was acceptable.

Using local intelligence, officers ran roadside checks at a number of locations throughout Sussex. These roadside checks accounted for 3,269 of the total number of breath tests, and 111 arrests.

In addition to this intelligence-led approach, the Force also routinely breath tested anyone involved in a collision. A total of 358 tests were conducted resulting in 17 resulting arrests.

Superintendent Natalie Moloney said: “Yet again, the results of our enforcement activity show that it is only a small minority of motorists who think that it’s acceptable to put their lives - and the lives of others around them - at risk.

“The vast majority of the motoring public understand how dangerous it can be to drive under the influence of alcohol and take appropriate measures to ensure that they don’t have to get behind the wheel after a festive tipple.

“Although Christmas is over, our work to remove drink-drivers from the roads will not stop. The goal of the Police, and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, is to have a road network free from the fear of being injured by a drunk driver, no matter what the time of year.”

The highest number of arrests, 30 in total, took place during the first full week of the campaign, between December 3 and 9.

Young drivers under the age of 25 were a particular target group. Fourteen were arrested for failing the breath test, one of whom had been involved in a collision.

The figures are comparative to previous years, with a higher percentage of arrests made this Christmas - 3.03 per cent, compared to the number of breath tests conducted. Previously, the Sussex Police drink-drive campaign ran for six weeks at random points across Sussex.

Breath tests Arrests % arrested

2012 3987 128 3.03%

2011 6435 132 2.05%

2010 3030 63 2.07%

2009 5287 162 3.06%