Number of drink-drive arrests falls

Police have released the results of their Christmas drink-drive crackdown
Police have released the results of their Christmas drink-drive crackdown

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THE number of people caught drink-driving fell during the Christmas crackdown, according to police figures.

Of nearly 7,000 motorists tested, the number arrested was 195, down from 213 in 2013. Of those, 140 were charged with an offence. The others were bailed or released with no charge.

That number translates as a major drop as just under 4,000 people were breath-tested in 2012.

In Portsmouth there were 25 arrests, four down on last year. In Fareham and Gosport 17 drivers were held compared with 20 in December 2013. And in Havant the figure was 12, down from 15. Those caught ranged in age from 17 to 80.

Hampshire Constabulary’s road safety sergeant Rob Heard said: ‘These results show that Hampshire Constabulary is dedicated to reducing the risks of impaired driving on our roads.

‘Driving while impaired greatly increases your risk of being involved in a collision and can cause devastating consequences to all involved.

‘It is pleasing to see that the message is getting through with over 97 per cent of people stopped being legal to drive and a drop in the number of people over the drink-drive limit from last year.’

He added: ‘This has been helped by the large number of people being breath-tested, as each one of them will have told their family and friends and this may well have made someone think twice about taking a chance and driving while impaired.

‘It is disappointing that 195 people tested positive, putting their own and other lives at risk through their actions.

‘We will continue to target those who drive while impaired to make our roads safer and to prevent the devastating consequences of fatal collisions.

‘This is vital and important work and all of our officers and staff are dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the number of those people who think it is safe to drive whilst impaired. It’s not worth the risk.’

The total number of people breathalysed was 6,918 – 3,015 more than 2013.