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With the festive season fast approaching, this week sees the launch of this year’s Christmas drink and drug impaired driving campaign focussed on stopping people from drinking and driving and preventing casualtieson our roads.
The official launch this year will be between Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, whose Roads Policing teams work together under one joint operational unit.
At the launch today (Monday 28th November), double Le Mans winning, Aston Martin Racing driver, Darren Turner, will to talk about his experience of taking to the track in his racing car simulator while under the influence of alcohol, in an experimentto see drink-by-drink, how alcohol affected his driving ability as he drove laps of the famous Monaco circuit.
We will also have a crashed car display, which graphically shows the impact that drink driving can have on vehicles and the lives of those that drive them, which we will use throughout the campaign to educate the public at specially organised events.
During the month of Operation Holly, officers will run pro-active operations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight targeting drink and drug impaired drivers, and we will, for the first time, be maximising use of Twitter and Facebook by tweeting every stop and activity at several upcoming operations which will be publicised in advance.
The themes for the four weeks of the campaign across the two counties are:
w/c 28 Nov Launch week
w/c 5 Dec Designated Driver Week
w/c 12 Dec Impact of drink driving on others
w/c 19 Dec Morning After Driving
w/c 26 Dec Get Ready for New Year
As part of this year’s campaign, we will be releasing several hard hitting videos featuring first-hand accounts by a convicted drink driver about the impact her conviction has had on her life, and from police officerswho have had the terrible duty of attending a fatal road traffic collision at Christmas and the impact on the families.
Superintendent Chris Brown, head of Roads Policing for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, said: “Our message is very simple, very clear. Do not drink and drive. Do not take the risk.
“Our officers will be conducting operations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from the end of November until the beginning of January as this is the time of year that people tend to drink and party more.
“But it is also important to remember that our work targeting drinking and drug impaired driving never ends – it is year round, and its consequences are felt year round, too.
“We are asking the public to be safe rather than sorry. Collisions involving alcohol or drugs not only devastate the lives of victims and their families, they also ruinthe lives of offenders, who could face a lengthy driving ban or imprisonment.
"As well as having to live with the lifelong guilt of having killed or injured someone through their reckless behaviour, offenders could also lose their job, home andtheir livelihood.
“If you are going out and know you will be drinking, organise alternative transport or a designated driver to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the festive period safely.”
To get the very latest progress and information on Operation Holly follow @HantsPolice or @HantspolRoads on Twitter or check out our Hampshire Constabulary Facebook page.