240 people were arrested during a Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers in Sussex.

The campaign, run by Surrey and Sussex police, ran from 1 December 2018 to 1 January this year.

Its aim was to target offenders during the busy festive period.

According to police, the recent operation’s figure was an increase on the previous two Christmas campaigns.

Chief Inspector Andy Gooch, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said:

“It is bitterly disappointing to see so many people arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving in such a short period of time.

“Of course we want people to have fun and enjoy the festivities, but don’t let that be at the expense of risking your life – and others’ – on our roads.

“The risks of such actions are well documented, yet despite our repeated warnings, there will always be a minority of people who make the conscious decision to get behind the wheel having consumed alcohol or drugs.”

Out of the 240 arrest made, 29 have been convicted and 81 have been charged to appear in court.

The remaining 130 have wither been released under investigation or released without charge.

CI Gooch added:

“While the number of arrests is an increase on the previous two years, it is encouraging to receive reports of suspected drink or drug-drivers from members of the public.

“Our officers can’t be everywhere all the time, and we appreciate the public’s assistance in helping us detect potential offenders.

“We take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and will respond to them as quickly as possible to achieve our two main aims of this operation – to keep all road users safe and to bring to justice those who break the law.

“Drink and drug-driving destroys lives, and it is one of the four major contributory factors of serious injury and fatal collisions in the UK.

“In Sussex alone in 2017, a total of 78 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of a collision involving a drink-driver – that’s 78 too many.”

Officers said details of people convicted as part of the campaign will be published on the police website.

People in Sussex can text police on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving.