Kent Police said they had arrested over 200 people and charged 60 over drink and drug driving offences during December 2020 alone.

In "proactive" operations led by Kent Roads Policing Unit (RPU), some 465 vehicles were also stopped over the course of the festive month that frequently sees high rates of intoxicated driving offences.

In total, 224 people were arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired and 60 charges have already been authorised.

Enquiries into most of the other cases remain ongoing, Kent Police said in a statement about the data released yesterday (Saturday, January 9).

Detective Inspector Lee Neiles, from Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, was one of those leading the proactive patrols that helped catch drink and drug drivers in recent weeks:

"Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is a completely avoidable offence," he said.

"Only a small minority of motorists choose to disobey this most fundamental principle of road safety but those who do risk killing themselves and others," he added.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is known to be one of the four most common causes of a fatal collision, alongside not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone at the wheel and speeding.

"We take offending of this nature exceptionally seriously and, throughout the year, take measures to ensure the roads are safe," DI Neiles continued.

"We will always seek to take the most robust, but proportionate, enforcement action against any offender.

"Anyone who drives while impaired risks the loss of their driving licence and a criminal conviction. This could lead to them losing their job, which in turn will seriously impact their ability to provide for their family.

"Think before you get behind the wheel and, if you have had a drink, never drive."