Revealed: the number of Essex drink and drug driver arrests

Essex Police officer stopping a motorist

Essex Police's anti drink drive campaign asked drivers to 'make their present your presence' - Credit: Essex Police

In a period of just over a month, 280 people were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving or for failing to provide a specimen during this festive season.

From just after midnight on December 1 to 6am on January 2, there were 138 motorists arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, 108 on suspicion of drug-driving and 34 for failure to provide a specimen.

The previous year, there were 283 arrests - the figures were 118, 139 and 26, respectively.

In December 2019 there were 403 arrests, made up of 173 arrests on suspicion of drink-driving, 169 on suspicion of drug-driving and 61 for failing to provide a specimen.

Even one person drink or drug-driving on Essex roads is unacceptable, Inspector Matt Crow has said.

Inspector Crow said: “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.

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"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 Crow said motorists could still be over the drink-drive limit the day after a night out. People could test positive for drugs days after they were taken.

Essex Police is working with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2040. 

They are asking road-users to send in dash-cam footage via the SERP Extra Eyes webpage:               
https://saferessexroads.org/extraeyes/extra-eyes-what-next  

Inspector Crow added: “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.” 

To share information about a drink or drug driver, call 999 in an emergency. 

Otherwise 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, call 101.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously online or by calling 0800 555 111.