More than 250 motorists arrested for drink or drug-driving in Sussex

Police stopped and checked 60 vehicles in one morning as part of a high-visibility campaign to crackdown on drink and drug-driving in Sussex.


Officers in Old Shoreham Road, Hove, spoke to drivers about whether they had consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

This morning (Friday, July 9), officers from the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit (RPU) carried out the checks, and 24 drivers were asked to give breath tests.

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"Two of the motorists both gave breath test readings below the legal alcohol limit for drink-driving," a Sussex Police spokesperson said.

"Other motorists were spoken to as part of the summer campaign which coincides with the Euro 2020 football tournament, where both Surrey Police and Sussex Police deploy increased resources to tackle one of the five most common causes of fatal and serious injury collisions.

"The goal is to keep all road users safe, and to take robust action against those who put the lives of themselves and others at risk, and the campaign works alongside the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, DriveSmart Surrey, and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne."

Two drivers had their vehicles seized 'as part of the proactive checks'.

One driver was stopped for driving while uninsured and the other driver was stopped for driving an untaxed vehicle.

Officers also spoke with three motorists for not wearing a seatbelt, and spoke with two e-scooter riders who were given words of advice.

During the month-long campaign 251 motorists have so far been arrested for drink or drug-driving in Sussex.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “This morning we have been stopping drivers and speaking to them to see if there is any suspicion of them being under the influence or alcohol or drugs.

“We have arrested 251 motorists as part of the campaign so far, and it is sad that so many people think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“We are now seeing more people out and about, including on our roads. We urge people to think very carefully about how much alcohol they have had before they get behind the wheel of the car."

Chief Constable Shiner 'it is a matter of people taking personal responsibility' for their own actions and the actions of others, adding: "Do not drive if you are going to drink or use drugs, as the consequences can be fatal for yourself or an innocent member of the public.

“Ahead of and after the Euro 2020 final we will have high-visibility patrols to stop anybody who is out drink or drug-driving. Our brilliant teams will be out to catch people who think it is ok to drink or take drugs and then drive.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said it 'beggars belief' that, with more than 1,000 people killed or seriously injured every year on our roads in Sussex, that anybody would get behind the wheel of a car when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

She added: “These operations are a very visible deterrent and demonstrate the force’s commitment and ability to take unsafe, untaxed and uninsured drivers off our roads and ensure offenders get prosecuted.”

The dedicated campaign, which began on June 11, ends on Sunday (July 11), and is in addition to routine roads policing 365 days a year.

In keeping with previous campaigns, the identities of anyone arrested for drink or drug-driving during this period and subsequently convicted, will be published on the Sussex Police website and social media channels.

Roads Policing Unit Chief Inspector Michael Hodder said: “We hope that by maximising publication of this campaign, people will think twice about their actions. We appreciate that the vast majority of motorists are safe and competent road users, but there is always a minority who ignore our advice and risk lives.

“Our advice to everyone – whether you’re watching the football or socialising with friends or family this summer – is to drink or drive; never both.

"Alcohol affects different people in different ways, and the only way to guarantee you are safe to drive is to have no alcohol at all.

Even one pint of beer, or one glass of wine, can be enough to put you over the limit and significantly impair your ability to drive safely.

“Think about it before you get behind the wheel. Don’t let your next journey be your last.”

Between April 2020 and March 2021, 291 people casualties were involved in a drink or drug-driving related collision in Sussex; three of these were fatal.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, 212 people casualties were involved in a drink or drug-driving related collision in Surrey; two of these were fatal.

During the same period, a total of 1,185 arrests were made for drink-driving in Sussex, and a further 1,135 for drug-driving.

The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include the following; a minimum 12 month ban; an unlimited fine; a possible prison sentence; a criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment; an increase in your car insurance; trouble travelling to countries such as the USA; you could also kill or seriously injure yourself or someone else.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.