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Surrey Christmas drink and drug driving arrests up by more than a third

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Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 12th January 2018. (Updated at 11:37am 12th January 2018)

Drink or drug driving arrests over the festive period were up in Surrey during 2017.

They increased by more than half compared to the same time the year before.

Surrey Police arrested 154 people from December 1 2017 to January 2 2018, up from 100 the previous year.

But according to Superintendent Chris Moon, Head of Roads Policing for Surrey and Sussex, this might not mean more people are getting behind the wheel whilst over the limit: "More than ever this year both Surrey and Sussex Police have taken a really hard stance against it.

"We've increased the number of our dedicated staff who have been involved in the campaign over Christmas and New Year.

"In one sense it is a success because we've caught more people as a result of putting more effort into it, but on the other side it is just so hugely, hugely disappointing that so many people are still deciding to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

"The message really isn't getting across to some people."

police

Of those arrests, 61 people have been charged.

As part of Surrey Police's Christmas crackdown on the offence, the force named and shamed those convicted.

Under current laws, an individual can receive up to 14 years in prison if they cause death by careless driving while under the influence of intoxicating substances. 

Officers also actively encouraged members of the public to report suspected drink or drug drivers during the crackdown.

Superintendent Chris Moon tells Eagle this was a success for the force: "We did have a number of calls either directly into our control room or through Crimestoppers as well and there were a number of cases where we've then directly been able to target people and arrest them and prosecute them for drinking and driving."

He added: "We’d like to thank everyone for their support, in particular those who have reported incidents to us.

"If you are out with friends or work colleagues and someone is intending to drive while under the influence – our message is, “Be brave!” try and talk them out of it or suggest other ways of getting home.

"However if you know someone is currently driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, please call 999.”

Alternatively, you can visit the independent charity, Crimestoppers, via their website or contact them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

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