Twenty motorists were charged with driving under the influence of drink or drugs during the first ten days of December.

The arrests were made by officers across the county, with drivers stopped in locations including Ramsgate, Folkestone, Swanley, Maidstone, West Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Minster-on-Sea and Medway.

Across December 2019, a total of 143 charges were issued for the same offences.

The new charges come as Kent Police supports a national campaign, which takes place each December to target motorists driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

The force’s Roads Policing Unit is carrying out patrols across the county to target motorists who they suspect are driving while impaired.

Provisional figures, up to 26 November 2020, show that there have been 303 collisions across Kent which are suspected to have involved at least one impaired driver. Across all of 2019, there were 375 collisions.

Plan ahead

Although the latest government guidance on Coronavirus limits the amount of social interactions that can be made, the festive period is known to be a time when people consume more alcohol.

Drivers are encouraged to remember that, even if they not attending a pub, drinking at home can still leave you over the limit the next day.

Anyone who attends a celebration outside of their home is also encouraged to ensure they follow the Government’s guidance and plan ahead.

Never drive once you have consumed alcohol and do not get in the car if you believe the driver is under the influence of a substance. Pre-book a licenced taxi instead.

Unacceptable danger

Detective Inspector Lee Neiles, from Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: ‘Driving while impaired by drink or drugs is known to be one of the four most common causes of a serious or fatal collision – alongside failing to wear a seatbelt, speeding or using a mobile phone.

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‘Our officers are doing their bit to keep road users safe by carrying out proactive patrols across the county to identify and target motorists who pose an unnecessary and unacceptable danger to others.

‘I would encourage all motorists to take personal responsibility for ensuring they do not drive while impaired. In addition to causing the death of an innocent road user and significant trauma to their family and loved ones, offending motorists risk an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban. This could have an impact on your work and your ability to care for your family.‘

By Ed

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