More than 150 people have been arrested during the first two weeks of a Christmas drink and drug driving campaign.

In total 153 people have been arrested by Essex Police since it launched at the start of the month.

The amount is more than the number of people arrested during the entirety of last year’s campaign, which saw 148 people arrested.

Of those arrested since December 1, 76 have been arrested on suspicion of drink driving, 62 on suspicion of drug driving, and 15 on suspicion of failing to provide a sample.

Inspector Rob Brettell, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “These figures reflects the positive and proactive work our roads policing officers are doing, the fact we are better equipped to identify potential drug drivers, and the amount of information and intelligence we receive from the public.

“Sadly this figure also indicates there are still people out there willing to risk their safety and that of other people.

“Many people we arrest are only carrying out short journeys – to and from the pub for example – and think that means they don’t pose a danger and won’t get caught.

“That is totally wrong and utterly reckless. It doesn’t matter if you’re travelling one mile or 100 miles, drink and drug driving puts your life at risk and those of other road users.”

Officers are carrying out proactive operations throughout the campaign but Inspector Brettell said the community can play a part in keeping the roads safe.

He added: “Information from the public about drink and drug drivers is invaluable and helps us identify offenders and take them off the roads.”

If you have any information about a drink or drug driver call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.