MORE than 500 people were arrested for drink or drug-driving during a police campaign.
Between December 1 last year and January 1 this year, Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police arrested 538 people for the two offences.
It’s disappointing that we continue to find so many people drink drivingChief inspector Henry Parsons
Police in Hampshire arrested 222 people during the campaign called Operation Holly while Thames Valley made 316 arrests.
That included 33 in Portsmouth, up from 24 in 2015.
Ten were arrested in Havant, the same as in 2015, while in Gosport the number decreased from 10 to six, and in Fareham from 11 to nine.
The overall figure for Hampshire is an increase on 2015, when 215 people were caught.
The crackdown also saw an increase in the number of arrests, 80, for drug-driving across both force areas – a 63 per cent rise on the figure of 49 for 2015’s campaign.
Roads policing chief inspector Henry Parsons, from Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, said: ‘It’s disappointing that we continue to find so many people drink driving.
‘The effects of it are so dangerous and it’s not worth the risk - there is no excuse for it.
‘These figures show that we remain committed to targeting those who cause death on our roads and make the roads less safe than they should be.’
The reporting of suspected drink driving by members of the public led to prompt action being taken by roads policing officers.
A 35-year-old man from Southampton was arrested and charged after another motorist noticed him driving erratically on the M3.
When stopped by police, his breathalyser reading was five times the drink-drive limit.
The driver pleaded guilty and received an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with a disqualification from driving for 36 months.
Police are calling on people to report any possible drink or drug-drivers by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.