Drink and drug-driving arrests in Essex during the festive period
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Our officers arrested 280 people on suspicion of drink or drug-driving or for failing to provide a specimen over the festive period.
And our roads policing officers conducted 1,216 breath tests during December 2021, although other officers will also have conducted tests if they suspected someone was drink-driving.
This is a significant fall from the 403 arrested in December 2019 but even one person drink or drug-driving on Essex roads is unacceptable, says Roads Policing Inspector Matt Crow.
“While it looks as though our message is hitting home with many people, I am concerned that the number of motorists arrested on suspicion of drink-driving is slightly up on the year before. “Sadly, some people still think it is OK to endanger not only their own safety but that of other road-users and pedestrians. One person driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs is one too many. “Driving under the influence affects your ability and reaction times which, in turn, can cause crashes, sometimes with fatal results. “And the consequences can be devastating for everyone involved and their wider circle of family and friends.” Inspector Matt Crow
Motorists who are arrested and convicted of drink or drug-driving offences can, in serious cases, face a jail term.
More usually, they may lose their driving licence, which could affect their ability to work and, if they lose their job, they might not be able to pay their bills, which in extreme instances, could lead to them losing their home.
“Some motorists still don’t realise they can be over the drink-drive limit the day after a night out or even that there is a drug-driving limit and you can test positive for drugs days after you last took them. “So, we continue to work with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership to raise awareness of this and also to educate people, young and old, about the consequences of drink and drug-driving and to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2040. “And we encourage all road-users to support us with this aspiration by becoming our Extra Eyes and reporting poor or dangerous driving by submitting dash-cam footage of any such incident to us via the SERP Extra Eyes webpage. “We review footage of offences such as speeding, careless driving, going through red lights, contravening traffic signs and using mobile phones whilst driving. “If the evidence indicates an offence has been committed, we can deal with it in several different ways, from offing the motorists a course to improve their driving standards, to issuing a fine or summonsing them to court.” Inspector Matt Crow
Between 00:01hrs on 1 December and 06:00hrs on 2 January 2022, 138 motorists were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, 108 on suspicion of drug-driving and 34 for failure to provide a specimen.
The previous year, the figures were 118, 139 and 26, respectively. And in December 2019, we made 173 arrests on suspicion of drink-driving, 169 on suspicion of drug-driving and 61 for failing to provide a specimen.
Tell us what you know
If you have any information about a drink or drug driver please call us on 999 in an emergency.
Otherwise you can submit an online report here / report it online at www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm. Alternatively, you can ring 101.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously online or by calling 0800 555 111.
You can provide Extra Eyes with information about dangerous, illegal or poor driving, or about drivers taking unnecessary risks on our roads by visiting the Safer Essex Roads Partnership website.
This includes speeding, careless driving, going through red lights, contravening traffic signs and using mobile phones whilst driving.
You can submit dash-cam footage at any time to Extra Eyes but please adhere to the following so that we have the best chance to progress your complaint:
You and any other witness must be willing to attend court to give evidence
Footage must be unedited, clear and in focus
Vehicles must be identifiable
Submissions must be made within 48 hours of the event
Please note: Footage must show instances of driving behaviour which amounts to careless driving or leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position.
Where the alleged driving amounts to an offence and there is no footage, an independent witness, not within your vehicle, is required.
We do not encourage you to proactively seek out examples of poor driving; it should be captured on dash-cam as part of your normal journey.