Would you report a friend or family member who was drink driving? Sussex Police say you should

  • Watch: ITV Meridian's Kit Bradshaw joins Sussex Police on their annual Christmas drink and drug drive campaign

Sussex Police has launched a new campaign, encouraging people to report anyone, including friends or family members, who have been drinking before getting behind the wheel.

With parties in full swing - and the World Cup - officers say people should call them, if someone is over the limit.

The force is increasing patrols on the roads in the lead up to Christmas, and officer were out early on Monday (5 December).

Chief Constable Jo Shiner, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Roads Policing, said: “Drink driving destroys lives, but tragically every day reckless drivers get behind the wheel and put themselves and others at risk.

“People who drink drive need to be stopped. Our campaign aims to save lives by deterring people from drink and drug-driving, and to deal robustly with offenders.

  • Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner

"That’s why we are calling on the public and friends of drink drivers to prevent, persuade and – as a last resort – report drink driving to police this Christmas.

“Drink drivers should be aware of the consequences.

“You could face a minimum 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and even a prison sentence. There’s also the personal impact of having a criminal record and possibly losing your job.

“Most importantly you could kill or seriously injury yourself or someone else.

“I know from personal experience the heartbreak of losing a loved one on the road, I lost my father when I was a teenager.

“Hopefully this year, with the public and police working together, it will mean fewer families facing this Christmas without their loved ones.”  

Police are stepping up patrols across Sussex as their Christmas drink and drug campaign launches. Credit: ITV Meridian

The force also found 36% of men and 46% of women say they’d take a drink driver’s car keys off them.

But only 2% say they wouldn’t try to stop a friend from drink driving.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Everybody knows that drink and drug-driving can have serious consequences but too many drivers still either don’t care or don’t think they’ll get caught.

“It’s just a simple fact:  alcohol or drugs can impair anyone’s driving judgement and ability and it’s simply a risk no-one should consider.

“Taking action before a night out and making plans to safely get home could make all the difference and even save lives. Whilst it is the driver’s responsibility not  to get behind the wheel, we should never be afraid to challenge our friends, family or colleagues  who think they’ll be ok.

“No one wants their night to end up in an arrest and no one wants a knock at the door telling them their loved one is seriously injured or worse. Whether it be a designated driver, public transport or finding somewhere safe to stay – there is always a better option.”