Drink drive figures show increase in arrests in south east Hampshire

STOPPED More drivers tested negative for drink-driving this December
STOPPED More drivers tested negative for drink-driving this December
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MORE drivers were arrested for drink driving in south east Hampshire this year compared to last, new figures reveal.

Arrests in Havant more than doubled from seven in 2012 to 15 over last December.

There was an increased by two to 29 in the number of arrests in Portsmouth. There were 20 arrests in Fareham and Gosport. While there was also an increase in the East Hants and Winchester district from 19 to 26.

However the results of Hampshire Constabulary’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, run in conjunction with Thames Valley Police, show that whilst there has been an increase of three on the 210 arrested across the area, the number of those providing a positive breath test following a collision has reduced by 10 per cent across the two counties.

The overall number of arrests between December 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014 was 213.

Out of all those tested, 84% showed zero presence of alcohol in their system, 11% registered a reading for alcohol but were under the drink drive limit and five per cent were over the limit and failed the test.

The oldest person arrested was 82 and the youngest just 17.

Superintendent Chris Brown, head of Roads Policing for Hampshire and the Thames Valley, said in a statement: ‘We’ve run a joint campaign across Hampshire and Thames Valley for the past three years and the numbers of arrests have remained about the same across all five counties. This year we have seen a one per cent increase, despite a very high profile and widely well received campaign.

‘We ran operations throughout December and have taken 213 impaired drivers off the roads. In one night’s operation alone we stopped 247 cars.

‘The story of Evey Staley and her family had a demonstrable effect on everyone it reached, and we firmly believe that everyone knows the message not to drink and drive – so it is time that we started tackling the whole impaired driving issue in a different way through intelligence-led targeted policing as we do other types of persistent criminality.

‘With media campaigns and high-profile enforcement there has been a huge reduction of arrests since the law was introduced in 1966, and fatalities on the UK’s roads have reduced from 7, 985 that year to less than 2,500 now.

‘This year, we have seen a reduction in the number of positive breath tests following a collision, and that 10 per cent reduction is a real positive for us - in fact the vast majority of motorists who were stopped actually blew zero, which shows us again that most people do get the message but that we are dealing with people who are often dependent on or persistently misusing alcohol.

‘We use the legislation and power that we have as widely and effectively as possible, and we will continue to do that year round - but it is time to start thinking more broadly to target offenders, further reduce road casualties and make a positive impact on reducing drink and drug drive offences.’

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes added in a statement: ‘I would like to see these figures fall still further. Everyone has a part to play in this by reporting anyone who chooses to ignore the law by drinking or taking mind altering substances before they get behind the wheel.’