Hundreds stopped by officers during 
drink-drive checks

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.

Drink-driver fined £700

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POLICE have praised drivers after hundreds of cars were stopped in a late-night drink-driving crackdown.

Officers from Hampshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit stationed themselves in Hope Street, Landport, pictured, on Saturday night.

They pulled over nearly 300 vehicles and conducted breath tests on anyone they suspected had been drinking alcohol.

A total of 108 tests were done
and only 33 drivers had alcohol 
in their blood – none of them were over the legal limit.

Acting Sergeant Neil Lancaster, from the Fratton Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘We had a good response from the public, who felt we should be targeting this part of society that still thinks drink-driving is acceptable.

‘One thing that was really positive is that we saw a lot of designated drivers, from mums and dads picking up their sons and daughters, to sons and daughters picking up their parents. I want to say thank you to the drivers for stopping and being friendly and for making our jobs much easier.’

The News was invited to observe the operation, which started at about 10pm and lasted for three hours.

Officers filtered traffic leaving the city along Hope Street into one lane and stopped the traffic at random.

A row of seven officers then spoke to drivers and anyone suspected of drinking alcohol was breathalysed before being allowed on their way.

Nobody was found to be driving while over the legal limit of alcohol, but a passenger in one car was given a warning for possession of cannabis. The operation comes as part of a major crackdown on drink-driving being carried out over the festive period. Acting Sgt Lancaster added: ‘I don’t think drink-drivers have a place in our society. Drinking impairs driving to an extent that it can cause accidents, severe injuries and fatalities.’

People are urged to shop anyone they think is drink-driving by texting police on 80999 with details of the vehicle being driven, the time, direction of travel and number plate.

The News runs a Steer Clear campaign which encourages pubs to offer free soft drinks to designated drivers in a bid to reduce drink-driving.