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Police release results of Christmas drink-drive campaign

The Suffolk Christmas drink and drug driving campaign by Suffolk Police saw more than 100 people arrested.

The month-long initiative launched on 1 December 2017, targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Patrols and roadside checks were carried out with Suffolk having a 3.99% fail rate of all people who were breathalysed.

A total of 1,751 breath tests were carried out with 70 drivers providing positive readings. Of the 194 drug test conducted, 67 drivers failed.

This year saw specific time slots at Ipswich Magistrates’ Courts being reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively meant that offenders could lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “It’s always disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs, although it is a minority.

“Dozens of people caught during the campaign would have started 2018 with a minimum 12 to 18 month driving ban, which will have massive implications on their professional and social lives.”

Some examples of people in Suffolk arrested during the campaign:

Brandon Ciesla, 24, from Dale Tree Road, Bury, was stopped after driving erratically. He provided a positive breath test, was arrested on Sunday, December 10 and appeared in court on December 12. He was disqualified from driving for 25 months and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work.

Jonathon Mander, 35, from Lee Wick Lane, Clacton-on-Sea, was arrested at Stratford St Mary on December 13 after a member of public reported his driving. He appeared at court on December 15 and was disqualified from driving for 28 months and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

Anton Mackevic, 28 from Ashlea Close, Haverhill, was arrested for giving a positive breath test on December 16. He appeared at court on December 19 and was disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to pay £450.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, said: “I’d like to commend the great work of the roads policing unit over the Christmas period and their rigorous campaign to get drink and drug drivers off our roads.

“Drivers need to understand that drink driving risks lives and the lives of others, it is grossly irresponsible and selfish.”

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