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VIDEO: The number of people caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during Hampshire Constabulary’s Christmas drink drive campaign increased by 12.6%, the force have today (Friday) revealed.

A total of 254 drivers were caught across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, a rise from 222 during Christmas 2016.

Together with figures from the Thames Valley, Operation Holly saw 601 arrests resulting in 352 charges being brought against drivers. A further 175 people have been released pending further investigation.

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Over three quarters of drivers arrested across both forces were male, with the highest offending age group being 21 to 30 – a considerable amount more than any other age group.

The operation ran from 1st December 2017 through to 1st January 2018 and was a combination of high visibility patrols, covert operations and intelligence-led policing aimed at targeting persistent offenders and drink and drug drivers.

Sergeant Rob Heard, Roads Policing Joint Operations Unit for Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary, said:

“New legislation and equipment has made detecting drug drivers much easier and this resulted in 63 extra arrests. 25% of those were impaired by drugs.

“Our commitment in roads policing is unwavering towards preventing the distress and misery caused by driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Such behaviour on our roads has far-reaching effects not just for the impaired driver, but for any innocent road users affected by their destructive decisions. The lives of individuals and their families can be torn apart through a combination of physical, psychological and legal consequences.

“Too many people continue to be complacent about the realities of road deaths and serious injuries. That’s why we want everyone to be clear about their responsibilities, and have respect for each other on the road.

“As in previous campaigns, we were greatly assisted by members of the public who passed us vital information and helped us take these drivers off the roads. Drink and drug-driving kills or injures people.

“Our message is simple – don’t mix drink or drugs with driving – it’s not worth the risk.”

Do you know someone who drinks or takes drugs and drives? Call Police on 101 or, if it’s an emergency, dial 999. If you don’t want to speak to police or give your name, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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