Drink-drive campaign sees a fall in arrests

PC Phil Robertson during a previous close pass operation in April.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170462-9066)

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A POLICE crack-down on drink-driving has seen a fall in the number of people arrested for the offence.

Officers 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 the 371 arrests, made between June 1 and July 31, 271 of them – 73 per cent – have been charged with driving under the influence.

Forty-eight people – 13 per cent – have been bailed pending further enquiries and 52 drivers – 14 per cent – have been released with no further action.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, of Hampshire Constabulary Roads Policing Unit, welcomed the fall in the number of arrests but said there are still too many people drink-driving.

He 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.’

Of the arrests across the county 124 of them – 33 per cent – were in The News’ region.