South Coast Police In December Drink-Drive Op

The South Coast's police are starting a month-long operation targeting drink and drug drivers - as Christmas party season arrives.

Dorset and Hampshire officers will be carrying out extra patrols until New Year's Day.

Throughout the month-long operation, officers will be requesting breath tests from all drivers involved in road traffic collisions, irrespective of whether or not they suspect a drink driving offence.

Drivers can expect to be tested during routine stop checks and if they are stopped for an offence. Field Impairment Tests (FIT) will be conducted on drivers suspected of being unfit to drive through drugs.

Joanne Greenwood lost her mother, Stella Osborn, aged 59, in March 2015 as a result of a head-on collision ion the A35 in Dorset with Natalie Roach. Roach was subsequently jailed for six years for causing death by dangerous driving whilst over a prescribed drug limit.

Joanne said: 

"Mum was the central cog of the family. The memory of police knocking on the door bearing such tragic news still haunts me. The most harrowing and cruel part of that day was breaking the news to our children, then aged 10 and six. Their innocence was shattered in a second."

Sergeant Jez Strothard, of the Dorset Police No Excuse team, said: 

"Some individuals fail to foresee the potential consequences of their actions. If caught driving whilst under the influence, you will be risk assessed and may become one of the team's next Operation Dragoon targets.

"Such offenders will be allocated an officer in charge, who will regularly engage with the individual, their family and their friends to deter dangerous driving behaviour. This will continue throughout any criminal proceedings and after their license is returned.

"We are confronting those who through their own choices put all road users in danger. When someone dies as a result of a collision involving a drink or drug driver, sentences can carry a penalty of up to ten years in prison. Don't risk it, it's never worth it."

If you have specific information about someone who you suspect to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs, and therefore represents an immediate danger to road users, call 999. For non-urgent matters call 101.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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