Christmas Drink-Drive Campaign Starts

1 December 2012, 08:58 | Updated: 1 December 2012, 09:15

Last December 20 people died in car accidents across Hampshire and the Thames Valley where alcohol was a factor.

The two forces have now started their campaign against drink and drug driving which will run until 1 January 2013.

Party-goers are being warned to think before they consider having a drink and getting behind the wheel during the festive period.

More than 7,000 people were breath-tested in last year's Christmas campaign in the Thames Valley with 299 arrests. 

There was a 15 percent increase in the number of arrests made in 2011 compared with 2010 and a 57 per cent increase in the number of women arrested for drink driving.

In Hampshire 240 were arrested with 176 charged with drink-driving. 

Chief Inspector Henry Parsons of Roads Policing for Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary said: "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 ruin the 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 and their livelihood."

Last year 164 people across Thames Valley area, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were involved in serious collisions where alcohol was a factor. Of those 144 were seriously injured and 20 died.

Hampshire Police are asking people to let them know if someone is drunk behind the wheel by texting 80999 with the precise location the driver was seen, direction of travel and as many vehicle details as possible.