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Top cop slams “blatant” drink drivers

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Drivers showed blatant disregard of drink-driving laws despite a publicised police blitz.

That is the view of a top police officer after nearly 200 people were arrested in the crackdown between December 1 and the New Year period.

Some drivers face court appearances this month and others have already been before magistrates for alleged drink or drug-related driving offences.

Chief Inspector Andy Gooch said: “The volume of arrests we have made in Sussex demonstrates the blatant disregard a lot of people have for the law.

“At a time when most people are celebrating and spending time with their loved ones, it is disappointing to see that a number of motorists continue to ignore our safety advice.”

Several drivers from the Horsham district were among those arrested and their names have been publicised as part of the crackdown.

More motorists were arrested in Sussex on New Year’s Day, immediately after the conclusion of the Christmas 2015 crackdown on drink and drug-drivers under Operation Dragonfly, which was Surrey and Sussex Police’s Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-driving.

Phil Nicholas, Chief Inspector of the Sussex Police Roads Policing Unit, said: “I feel the campaign has been a success in that we have arrested a large number of people who may otherwise have been involved in an accident or ended up causing fatalities on the roads in Sussex.

“However, it is extremely disappointing that some people have not taken heed of the message, as is reflected in the statistics with 21more people being arrested for drink and drug-driving related offences in the first three days of 2016 – 10 on New Year’s Day alone. It shows that this campaign is not aimed solely at targeting drink and drug-drivers at Christmas; it is a year-round strategy and we will continue to bring offenders to justice.”

Of the 182 arrests made in December, a total of 27 people have been convicted, and a further 72 have been charged and are due to appear in court.

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

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

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