This Christmas just have none for the road

An example of the breathalysers police will use during this month's drink-drive campaign.
An example of the breathalysers police will use during this month's drink-drive campaign.

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A TOP cop today warns drivers – one drink is too many.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley is calling on the public to shop suspected drink and drug-drivers with the launch of Hampshire police’s ‘Don’t Get Smashed’ campaign.

The Constabulary has joined forces with Thames Valley Police to reduce drink-related driving incidents on our roads – and crack down on the culprits.

Chief Insp Bottomley told The News: ‘One drink is too many. It’s just not worth the risk. ‘

The call comes as police figures reveal 164 people across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Thames Valley were last year involved in serious crashes where alcohol was a factor.

Of those 144 were seriously hurt and 20 died.

Last year’s pre-Christmas crackdown saw 140 people arrested on suspicion of drinking-driving across Hampshire in December.

Of those, 176 were later charged.

And police promise there will be no let-up this festive period.

From today roads policing officers are running operations targeting drink and drug impaired drivers.

Officers will use Twitter and Facebook to tweet and post every stop and activity during operations.

The forces are working with organisations including the Safer Portsmouth Partnership, local councils, the Isle of Wight Road Safety Partnership, fire and ambulance services.

Chief Insp Bottomley added: ‘Drink-driving devastates lives. It’s a simple fact that my officers and certainly many members of the public can attest to.

‘Christmas is a time which is all about family, it’s about being with those you love.

‘Help us make sure you get to do that this year and for many to come.

‘Don’t drink and drive and tell us if you know someone who is.

He added: ‘It’s not just about catching people: it’s about coming between them and catastrophic consequences. Do yourself – and everyone else – a favour this Christmas. Don’t drink and drive. It’s not worth the risk.’

Text 80999 to shop a drink-driver with the licence plate, direction of travel, time and details.

Calls for drivers to ‘steer clear’

POLICE are backing our annul Steer Clear campaign which rewards designated drivers for staying alcohol-free.

Our crusade launches next week – and we will be calling on pubs and clubs to help.

We want local licensed premises to offer a free soft drink to designated drink-drivers out this Christmas.

Anyone who takes part will have the name of their establishment added to our roll of honour which will be printed in The News and online at portsmouth.co.uk.

More details will be revealed next week.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley from Hampshire police is backing our scheme. He said: ‘We support any initiative which will encourage a responsible attitude to alcohol and The News’ Steer Clear campaign does just that.

‘By encouraging people to nominate a designated driver and by rewarding that person with free soft drinks the campaign could be actively reducing the number of people who choose to get behind the wheel drunk.

‘While we’ll never truly know how many lives are saved when those who would ordinarily drink-drive choose not to, I’m confident that this kind of initiative certainly goes some way to reducing would-be drink-drivers and therefore potential drink-drive casualties.’