During December, Sussex Police’s Operation Limit led to 261 arrests for suspected drink or drug-driving, showcasing a robust effort to curb this dangerous behavior. This campaign, running from December 1 to January 1, saw officers from across the force actively patrolling and conducting nearly 6,000 vehicle checks. The number of arrests this year marked a 12% increase compared to the previous year’s campaign.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner emphasized the campaign’s role in highlighting the risks of impaired driving and the simple measures to prevent it. She also commended the public’s involvement in reporting intoxicated drivers, helping to avert potential tragedies. Notably, there were over 50 collisions related to these offenses, underlining the peril of driving under the influence.
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne expressed concern over the rising arrest numbers, suggesting a persistent underestimation of the severity of driving impaired. She highlighted the nearly decade-long use of roadside saliva tests, warning of their accuracy and the consequences of being caught, which can include prison time, fines, and driving bans.
Superintendent Rachel Glenton from Surrey Police and Sussex Police’s Head of Roads Policing reiterated the year-round commitment of officers to ensuring road safety. Despite their efforts, many motorists still chose to drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. The campaign saw various alarming incidents, including a driver asleep at a roundabout and another using mouthwash at a checkpoint.
Sussex Police plans to continue the practice of naming convicted individuals to raise awareness and deter others. The penalties for drink or drug-driving are severe, including driving bans, fines, potential prison time, and the risk of causing serious harm. The campaign’s statistics are a sobering reminder of the widespread issue, with significant arrests made across various districts in Sussex.
Statistics from Sussex include:
• At least 57 reported collisions out of the 261 arrests made.
• Of those arrested, 235 were men and 26 were women.
• In total, 115 arrests were made in connection with alcohol related drink-driving offences, and 146 arrests were made in connection with drug-driving related offences.
• Officers completed 5,944 vehicle stop checks, up from 2,430 in the previous year.
• Officers completed 397 DrugWipe tests, of which 157 returned a positive result.
• There were 54 arrests made within the Brighton and Hove area.
• There were 25 arrests made in the Mid Sussex district including six in Burgess Hill and five in Haywards Heath.
• There were 25 arrests in the Rother district including 18 in Bexhill.
• There were 23 arrests in the Crawley area.
• There were 22 arrests in the Adur and Worthing district, including 14 in Worthing specifically.
• There were 21 arrests made in the Arun district including six in Bognor and six in Littlehampton.
• There were 18 arrests in the Horsham district including six in Horsham specifically.
• There were 17 arrests made in the Hastings and St Leonards district.
• There were 17 arrests made in the Eastbourne district.
• There were 12 arrests made in the Lewes district including five in Newhaven.
• There were 10 arrests made in the Chichester district, including six in Chichester specifically.
• There were 10 arrests made in the Wealden district, including three in Polegate.