County news: Anti drink and drug driving campaign saw 204 arrests in 34 days

Operation Dragonfly is focused on drink and drug-driving SUS-141224-111002001

Operation Dragonfly is focused on drink and drug-driving SUS-141224-111002001

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A summer crackdown on drink and drug-driving saw 204 drivers arrested in Sussex.

Operation Dragonfly, run by Surrey and Sussex Police for 34 days from Monday June 6 to Sunday July 10, saw officers carrying out stop checks as well as acting on reports of suspected drink drivers.

A similar campaign at Christmas and New Year, which also ran for 34 days, saw 203 drivers arrested.

PS Phil Badman, of the Surrey and Sussex Police roads policing unit, said: “The figures compared to our Christmas campaign demonstrate that no matter what time of year it is, people still continue to take risks by driving under the influence of drink and drugs in Sussex.

“In conjunction with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, we work hard to hit home the message that drink and drug-driving will not be tolerated, and the consequences that such actions could have on our roads. Despite this, a small minority appear to either ignore our advice or simply think they are above the law.

“One thing is for sure – if you are caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs, you will be dealt with robustly. This includes a minimum of a 12-month ban, and can include heavy fines, community sentences and, in some cases, a prison term. It can also affect the cost of your insurance policy and future employment, and the risk really isn’t worth taking.”

Police say some of the arrests came as a result of an increasing number of reports from members of the public - officers are encouraging road users to continue to report offenders.

PS Badman added: “There are a number of ways people can report suspected drink or drug-drivers, whether it be via text, phone, email or our website, and we would urge people to keep the reports coming.

“We can’t be everywhere at once, and receiving intelligence from the public helps us to locate, identify and catch criminals, preventing the risk to themselves and others at the earliest opportunity.

“It’s also important to add that while we carry out dedicated patrols at Christmas and during summer, we will of course continue to arrest anyone suspected of driving while under the influence in Sussex at any time of the year.”

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving, or visit http://www.operationcrackdown.co.uk/

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/

However, police say that if you are certain someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, you should call 999.

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