Drink-drive arrest total nears 100 as crackdown goes on

A breathalyser test
A breathalyser test
JAILED Paul Nelson

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DRINK-DRIVE arrests in our area have almost reached 100 during a police crackdown.

Latest Hampshire Constabulary figures show 97 people were arrested on suspicion of committing the offence between December 1 and 17.

Of those 59 – 61 per cent – have been charged with the crime, while 30 were bailed and eight people were released with no further action.

The Eastern area accounts for 35 per cent of arrests, with nine in Portsmouth, four in Havant, Five on the Isle of Wight and 16 in Fareham and Gosport.

And police vow there will be no let-up in their bid to catch motorists flouting the law this Christmas as part of the force’s Don’t Get Smashed campaign.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley said: ‘It’s not just about catching people; it’s about coming between them and catastrophic consequences.’

Police are working closely with agencies including the council, fire service and Safer Portsmouth Partnership to raise awareness of drink-driving dangers and crack down on law breakers.

Latest statistics show drink-drive arrests in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are up three per cent on this time last year.

Officers from Hampshire police will on Friday display the wreck of a Vauxhall Corsa in which a 23-year-old woman drink-driver died following an horrific smash.

The mangled blue car will be at Gunwharf Quays from about 7pm to 11pm to highlight the dangers of drinking before getting behind the wheel.

Hampshire police is using the car with the permission of the woman’s family – who wish to remain anonymous.

The Spinnaker Tower is to be lit yellow in memory of the victim, who died in November last year after the car smashed into a white van.

Tests revealed she was four times the drink-drive limit.

To shop a suspected drink-drive this Christmas text police on 80999 with details of the vehicle they are driving, time, direction of travel and number plate.

The News’ Steer Clear campaign encourages pubs to offer designated drivers free soft drinks to reduce drink-driving this Christmas.