Drink-drive crackdown sees 1,543 tested in Hampshire

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MORE suspected drink-drivers were arrested in our area than anywhere else in Hampshire in the first month of a police crackdown.

Hampshire police say there were 67 arrests in the Eastern area, covering Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, the Havant area and the Isle of Wight.

There were 64 arrests in the Western area and 55 in the north.

While there were 36 drink-drive-related arrests in Southampton, Havant and Winchester followed with 19 arrests each last month.

Officers conducted 1,543 breath tests in June – 598 fewer that last year – but there were an equal number of arrests.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley said: ‘We target drink-drivers all year round but in the summer months and at Christmas we see a rise in those willing to take such an idiotic risk with their lives. As a result we will be carrying out operations solely targeting drink-drivers across the two counties from now until September.’

Drink-drivers face a ban from the roads, a £5,000 fine, a criminal record and up to six years in prison. The offence will remain on their licence for 11 years and they will struggle to hire a car for a decade. The cost of car insurance will also be affected by a drink-drive conviction.

Ch Insp Bottomley added: ‘We have seen first-hand the devastation a drink-driving collision can cause and while we know it’s only a matter of time before we see it again, we’ll do everything we can to reduce the chances.’