WITH Christmas celebrations now in full swing Sussex Police is warning people not to ruin the festive period by drink driving.
Chief inspector Di Roskilly of Sussex Police’s Road Policing Unit said: “Too many people get behind the wheel after having a drink or taking drugs and the consequences can be dire.
“We encourage people to enjoy the festive period but ask that you make sure you have a designated driver in your group who stays sober or you get a taxi or public transport home.
“It is proven that collisions are more likely to happen when the driver is impaired. Not only is there the risk of killing yourself or someone else, you could also end up banned from driving or in prison. Drink or drug driving isn’t worth it.”
Since the campaign started on November 14, 6,508 people have been breath tested with 154 arrests. For a similar period last year 6226 tests were carried out with 150 arrests.
Phil Henty, operations manager for the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Drinking and driving is a serious problem on our roads across the year - but most poignant at Christmas when the loss of life can seem even more tragic.
“Aside from the emotional cost to family and friends, each fatality on our roads costs society nearly £1.6m, and each seriously injured person carries a cost of some £178,000.
“This means that every life saved by detecting drink drivers before they have a collision has a direct financial benefit to society as a whole, but more important is the ‘hidden’ benefit to the lives of people across our county and country.”
Anyone who would like to report drink or drug driving to police can contact 999 if the person is driving or about to drive or 101 if it is not imminent - for example a habitual drink-driver. People can also text 65999 or make a report through www.operationcrackdown.org