Summer Drink-Drive Arrests Are Down

Police arrested 371 people within the first two months of the force's summer drink-drive campaign Op Solar - a 20 per cent reduction on last year.

Of this year's 371 arrests - made between June 1 and July 31 - 271 (73 per cent) people have been charged with driving under the influence, 48 (13 per cent) have been bailed pending further enquiries and 52 (14 per cent) have been released with no further action.

Of those arrested, males accounted for 313 (84 per cent) and females accounted for 58 (16 per cent).

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley of Hampshire Constabulary Roads Policing Unit, said:

"In June we made the same number of arrests as the previous year but with fewer drink-drive operations carried out, demonstrating that drink-driving is still an issue which many people do not take seriously.

"While we have seen a drop in July arrests on last year - with 183 arrests made this year and 278 in 2011, 183 drink-drivers is still 183 too many.

"Any amount of alcohol can affect the way you drive, creating a slower reaction time and a feeling of invincibility which can cause drivers to take risks.

"There is no excuse for drink driving. If you want to drink don't drive and if you have to drive, just don't drink.

"No one's life is of so little value that it should be risked for a drink. Show some regard for other people - and yourself and just don't drink and drive."

The majority of arrests so far have been made in the Northern Area (36 per cent) with 22 in Andover, 33 in Basingstoke and Deane, 37 in Hart and Rushmoor and East 40 in Hampshire and Winchester.

The Eastern Area saw 124 people (33 per cent) arrested for driving under the influence. Of those, 18 were arrested in Fareham and Gosport, 32 in Havant, 34 on the Isle of Wight and 40 in Portsmouth.

The remaining 31 per cent of arrests were made in the force's Western Area. Police arrested 62 people in Southampton, 27 in Eastleigh and Romsey and 26 in the New Forest.

The youngest person arrested was 16 years old and the oldest was 76. The average age of those arrested was 36 years.

Hampshire Constabulary's drink-drive campaign will continue until September 4.