Hampshire Drink-Drive Arrests Up 126%

Roads policing officers in Hampshire have already arrested 43 people on suspicion of drink driving during this year's Christmas campaign.

Operation Holly was launched on December 1 and is aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers around the festive season.

In just four days, the Roads Policing Unit has stopped 338 vehicles and carried out 320 breath tests.

Across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, there have been 43 arrests relating to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The 43 arrests show a 126 per cent increase on arrests during the same period in 2010.  

Of those arrested, 36 were male [84%] and seven were female [16%].

In total, 33 of the 43 arrested [77%] have been charged, with seven bailed [16%] and three released with no further action [7%].

Last year, the youngest person arrested in the first four days of the campaign was 20 years of age, the oldest was 50.  In 2011, so far, the youngest is 17 years old, the oldest is 76.

The campaign, which runs until January 1, 2012, will see police targeting drivers they suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, both on the way home from nights out and the morning after a heavy night.

Officers have also held presentations to almost 2,000 service personnel, warning of the dangers of drink driving, with a particular emphasis on the morning after a night of drinking.

Superintendent Chris Brown, head of Roads Policing for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, said:

“Drink or drug driving is a choice you make. If you make the wrong decision you face a driving ban, up to £5,000 in fines and a criminal record – and that’s only the best case scenario..

“The bottom line is that there is no excuse for drink driving. It’s a choice that costs people their jobs, their relationships and their lives, not to mention the lives of others.

“Our message is very simple, very clear. Do not drink and drive.  Do not take the risk.”

Hampshire Constabulary are asking people to text 80999 to report anyone they suspect of drink or drug-drivingl. 

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.

Supt Brown said:

“While the battle against drink driving is a year-long fight, it’s particularly an issue at Christmas when many people are out celebrating or going to parties.

“By reporting those you suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs you could be saving their life, or the lives of others. I’d urge people to remember the 80999 number this Christmas and most importantly, not drink and drive.”