REVEALED: Hundreds caught in drink and drug-driver crackdown

An officer stops a suspected drink-driver for a breath test
An officer stops a suspected drink-driver for a breath test
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A TOP traffic cop has blasted ‘complacent’ drink and drug-drivers after a hike in arrests.

Sgt Rob Heard spoke out as figures reveal an increase in people caught in the annual crackdown over Christmas.

Hundreds of people were caught out, with 254 arrested in December last year, up from 222 the year before.

Sgt Heard said: ‘The lives of individuals and their families can be torn apart through a combination of physical, psychological and legal consequences.

‘Too many people continue to be complacent about the realities of road deaths and serious injuries. That’s why we want everyone to be clear about their responsibilities, and have respect for each other on the road.’

He added: ‘We were greatly assisted by members of the public who passed us vital information and helped us take these drivers off the roads. Drink and drug-driving kills or injures people.

‘Our message is simple – don’t mix drink or drugs with driving – it’s not worth the risk.’

Roads policing units in Hampshire put on extra patrols to catch late-night drinkers and early morning drivers still over the limit from the evening before.

The crackdown, called Operation Holly, saw 352 charged and a further 175 released under investigation.

Together with Thames Valley Police, which shares the roads policing units with Hampshire, 601 arrests were made between December 1 last year to January 1.

More than 75 per cent of drivers arrested were men, with the highest offending age group aged between 21-30.

Police have praised people for coming forward and reporting drink-drivers.

Sgt Heard said: ‘We’ve seen a rise in the number of people we have arrested for drink or drug-driving. New legislation and equipment has made detecting drug drivers much easier and this resulted in 63 extra arrests – 25 per cent of those were impaired by drugs.

‘Our commitment in roads policing is unwavering towards preventing the distress and misery caused by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

‘Such behaviour on our roads has far-reaching effects not just for the impaired driver, but for any innocent road users affected by their destructive decisions.