1,290 drivers stopped so far in Essex Police anti-drink drive Christmas crackdown

WITH the last weekend before Christmas nearly here, Essex Police is reminding partygoers of the consequences of drink driving.

Since the force launched its Christmas anti-drink drive campaign, a total of 1,290 drivers have been breathalysed and 45 found to be over the legal limit.

“Drink driving risks and ruins lives. It can result in a criminal record, the loss of your driving licence or a fine of up to �5,000. If you kill or injure someone, you could face up to 14 years in prison,” said a spokesman.

“Police will be patrolling towns with bustling night time economies as well as rural areas where some drivers think they have less chance of getting caught drunk behind the wheel.

“We’re asking residents to help keep the county’s roads safe this Christmas by giving information about people they know who regularly drink and drive.

“This can be done by dialling 999 if you know someone is drunk and you see them getting behind the wheel of a car, or calling Essex Police on 101 to give information about someone who regularly chooses to drink and drive, or by making an anonymous call to Crimestoppers by dialling 0800 555 111 or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.”

Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manage, added: “I want to encourage people who say that they regularly see people driving, who they know have been drinking, to contact police or give information anonymously to Crimestoppers.

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“We will taken action but we need the public to support our campaign, 365 days of the year, and make that call.”

Ann Scott, regional manager for Crimestoppers, said: “If someone has information about a regular drink driver they may feel uncomfortable about going to the police. Crimestoppers can take this information 100% anonymously. We do not ask for the caller’s name or any personal details.

“We do not trace or record our calls and those giving information do not have to give a statement to the Police or go to court. Nobody will know you called.

“In the 23 years we have been running Crimestoppers has never broken its promise of anonymity.”

Mr Pipe added: “This year’s message is to plan in advance how you are going to get home after a night out. If you intend to drink alcohol, leave the car at home and take public transport or pre book a taxi.

“If you are going out in a group, nominate a designated driver who will only drink soft drinks for the evening. Think about the consequences.

“Losing your licence means not only being unable to drive but could mean losing your job and then unable to pay your bills.”