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We are watching you: Drink and drug drivers to be named and shamed this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 08:06 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:57 01 December 2017

Anyone stopped due to concerns over their driving, a vehicle defect or if they have been involved in a collision will be breathalysed. PC Dave Reed prepares to breathylise a motorist. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Anyone stopped due to concerns over their driving, a vehicle defect or if they have been involved in a collision will be breathalysed. PC Dave Reed prepares to breathylise a motorist. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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We are watching you - that is the message to drink-drivers this Christmas as we launch our Name and Shame campaign.

Lauren Danks (pictured) was killed when speeding drink-driver Nelson Curtis collided with her car on the A11 at Barton Mills on November 11, 2016.
Photo supplied by Danks family. Lauren Danks (pictured) was killed when speeding drink-driver Nelson Curtis collided with her car on the A11 at Barton Mills on November 11, 2016. Photo supplied by Danks family.

This newspaper is once again supporting Norfolk and Suffolk Police in their month-long crackdown on drink and drug drivers throughout December.

We have vowed to publish the details of as many motorists as possible who are convicted of driving while intoxicated between December 1 and January 1.

As with previous years, we will also try to publish the photographs of those found guilty.

During the 2016 campaign, Norfolk police said 1,320 breath tests were carried out, with 82 drivers failing.

Lauren Danks with her mum Claire, father Robert, and brothers Kieran, Bobby and Jayden. Lauren Danks with her mum Claire, father Robert, and brothers Kieran, Bobby and Jayden.

Over the border in Suffolk, 1,329 tests were undertaken and 142 drivers failed.

The month-long police campaign will see officers in both counties carry out extra patrols and roadside checks this month.

Anyone stopped due to concerns over their driving, a vehicle defect or if they have been involved in a collision will be breathalysed.

Police said specific time slots at Norwich and Ipswich Magistrates’ Courts have been reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving.

It means that offenders could now lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed.

Chief Insp Kris Barnard, head of the joint roads policing and firearms operations unit, said: “Anyone caught faces a minimum 12-18 month ban, however, deciding to drink and drive could cost you more than just your licence.

“Think seriously about how having no licence could affect your life. Would you lose your job? How would you get the kids to school? How are you going to see family or friends this year?

“Remember, it is your decision whether you drink and drive. You are responsible. You must face the consequences which could include a serious collision where you or someone else is injured or killed. Drink-driving is just not worth the risk.”

The campaign will see officers carrying out roadside checks throughout the day and night, as well as intelligence-led activity.

David Powles, EDP and Evening News editor, said: “There is no excuse to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

“That is why throughout this month, drink and drug drivers will not only face the courts, but will be named and shamed in our newspapers.”

Young woman killed by drink driver

Christmas will never be the same for the family of a 22-year-old woman whose life was taken by a drink-driver in Suffolk last year.

Lauren Danks was killed when speeding drink-driver Nelson Curtis collided with her car on the A11 at Barton Mills on November 11, 2016.

The 64-year-old Lakenheath electrician, who drove his Jaguar at 124mph before colliding with the back of the beauty therapist’s car, had two previous convictions for dangerous and drink-driving.

His seven-year jail sentence offered no compensation to Lauren’s family, who called for a zero-tolerance approach to people, like their daughter’s killer, who have no regard for the safety of others.

Parents Robert and Claire Danks, from Soham, Cambridgeshire, said: “No one understands how it feels until it happens to them.

“The pain never goes away. Last Christmas was just a blur – we were in shock. This Christmas, we are even more painfully aware. Life is a struggle.”

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