AN average of one victim every week is killed or seriously injured on our roads as a result of a crash involving a drink or drug driver, new figures reveal.
The shocking statistic has been published by Hampshire Constabulary as the force today launches its annual crackdown on impaired drivers during the festive period.
As part of the campaign extra patrols will be carried out to breathalyse and educate motorists and intelligence-led operations during the day and night will catch out those who flout the law.
Every driver involved in a crash will continue to be breathalysed as a matter of course.
And people who suspect someone of drink or drug-driving are urged to shop them to police.
Sergeant Rob Heard said: ‘Too many people are still taking the risk to drive while impaired. But we are dedicated to reducing it. These people not only put themselves at risk, but others who are often innocently going about there daily lives.
‘As well as aiming to reduce the number of people who are killed or injured, we would also like to remind motorists that receiving a conviction for drink or drug driving could ruin their lives.
‘If you are caught drink driving you could face a criminal conviction, possible prison term, driving ban, and could even lose your job.
‘It’s not worth the risk.’
Last year 213 people were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving in Hampshire and Thames Valley in the joint annual police crackdown.
Of those arrested, 137 have been charged, 53 bailed pending further inquiries and 23 were released with no further action.
The oldest person arrested was 82 and the youngest just 17. However, between January 2009, and June 30 this year there were 2,650 crashes involving impairment throughout Hampshire and Thames Valley police areas, resulting in 3,683 casualties.
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight accounts for 38 per cent of crashes involving impairment and Thames Valley accounts for 62 per cent.
To shop an impaired driver call 101 or text 80999 with details of the vehicle, driver, location and times.