Who's Des?

Police are reminding festive party-goers to nominate a designated driver before heading out on the town this New Year's Eve.

The request comes as the Hampshire Constabulary's Christmas drink-drive campaign nears its end, with more than 100 people arrested for drink-driving since December 1.

Officers have been posting messages on the constabulary's Facebook and Twitter sites, encouraging people to get organised before they head out for the night.

Roads Policing Unit chief inspector, Andy Bottomley said: "People pulled over for drink-driving after a night out are often full of excuses but none of them are ever good enough.

"New Year's Eve falls in the same month and on the same date every year so there's no excuse not to plan ahead.

"If you can afford to go out and drink, you can afford to keep aside some money for a taxi home. Why not offer to buy one of your mate's soft drinks all night, or pay for them to get into a club in exchange for that lift home?"

Tolerance to alcohol depends on weight, build, age, gender, stress levels and recent food consumption, meaning two people drinking the same amount can have very different reactions. It's important to remember also that you don't have to feel drunk to be a drink-driver.

The safest way to make sure you don't drink drive is simply not to drink if you're driving or leave the car keys at home if you're out drinking.

Ch Insp Bottomley added: "If at the end of the night you find you've spent your cab fare, it's still far better making that late night call home and hacking off your friends or family, then risking it at the wheel.

"Excuses when we've pulled you over just won't be tolerated. You won't get any sympathy and you won't just get a slap on the wrist. You'll have to abandon your car at the side of the road and spend a night in the cells."

Hampshire Constabulary is asking members of the public across the two counties to text 80999 to report anyone they suspect of drink driving or being drug impaired behind the wheel.  

The information will be received anonymously, and senders simply need to text the precise location where the driver was last seen, direction of travel if possible, and as many vehicle details as possible - most importantly the number plate.

The number is a text-only service, and will not take phone calls but anyone witnessing a drink drive offence in progress can call 999.

"With more drink-drive operations than ever before we're bound to catch more offenders," said Ch Insp Bottomley.

"However, it's still frightening that in this day and age people are still foolish enough to drink and drive. You don't have to do it so don't."

In Dorset, police are also encouraging revellers to ring in the New Year safely.

Detective Superintendent Andy Clowser said: "We want everyone to have fun celebrating the New Year but it is important people follow our advice and stay safe while enjoying the festivities.

"Make sure you stay with your friends, especially ifthey are drunk. Don’t leave them vulnerable and alone.

"Always plan how you're getting home and ensure you keep money aside for a licensed taxi or bus.

"Never walk home alone and don't go home with someone you barely know."

ARC Dorset opened earlier this year to offer multi-agency support to victims of sexual offences.

Anyone, man, woman or child, who has been raped or sexually assaulted either recently or in the past, can contact ARC Dorset directly as a self-referral. Alternatively, they can come as a referral from the police or any other agency.

Self-referrals can simply dial 0845 519 8638 to make an appointment or email contact@arcdorset.org.uk.

Detective Superintendent Clowser continued: "If you have been a victim of rape, but have not reported it, please do come forward and tell us. We have specially trained officers to fully support victims of rape and investigate these types of offences.

"We will take the strongest possible action against anyone found to have committed rape."

Violence in night time economy areas, such as Bournemouth and Weymouth town centres, tends to increase over the New Year period.

Sergeant Steve Lyne, Bournemouth Central Deputy Neighbourhood Inspector, said: "Bournemouth town centre is a great place for people to celebrate the New Year.

"However, anyone who gets drunk and causes trouble can expect to be arrested and could start 2013 in a police cell.

"I would urge people not to drink to the extent that it affects their decision making."

If you have information about a crime you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 in confidence, your call will not be traced and you may receive a cash reward.

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