Commuters on the booze

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A CAMPAIGN which targeted commuters about to get into their cars at train stations found that about a quarter were over the drink-drive limit.

Suffolk Constabulary and British Transport Police worked together on the project, which was carried out at railway stations in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Ipswich between December 9 and January 21.

Commuters were asked if they would give a voluntary breath test – and of the 97 that did, 23 were found to be over the drink-drive limit.

They will not face a driving ban or court as they were not caught behind the wheel and made other arrangements to get home.

Police are celebrating the success of the campaign which, they say, will be repeated.

Insp Bruce Gent, from the Bury Roads Policing Unit, said: “On the face of it, a quarter does seem high but we were able to get out a positive strong message.

“We took a potential 23 drink-drivers off the road. If we can do that through education we have succeeded.

“At the end of the day we want to get the message across to everybody that drink-driving is not acceptable, it is anti-social and that it is an offence.”

He said the majority of the people who volunteered for the breath tests admitted they had had alcohol and wanted to see if they were fit to drive.

Suffolk Police say the safest way to be sure you are not over the limit is not to run the risk – if you are going to drink, make other arrangements to get home and do not drink at all if you are going to drive.

Insp Gent said of the 23 caught over the limit, ‘a fair proportion’ had parked at the station car parks or nearby and intended to drive home.

They were instead given advice and directed to the nearest taxi rank.

“We will certainly liaise with the British Transport Police with a view to carrying it out again later this year and most definitely again at Christmas,” said Insp Gent