Drink-driving figures revealed

Cyclists’ safety a big issue ahead of local elections

THE number of motorists arrested for drink-driving across Gosport, Fareham and Havant over Christmas fell, police say.

Officers arrested 39 people in the area for drink-driving, drug driving or failing to provide a specimen during the festive campaign - 13 less than last year.

The number of drivers charged were 27, less than the 42 in 2009/10.

But in Portsmouth the number of arrests for drink-driving went up

from 27 last year to 35. Of those, 25 people were charged with offences, an increase of six.

In total police stopped a total of 3,984 drivers in Hampshire throughout December - up by more than 600 compared to last year.

Those providing positive breath tests or refusing to take the test went up from 204 to 247.

Inspector Jon Snook said: 'We have stopped almost 600 more drivers during this year's campaign and officers have been carrying out special patrols to target hot spot areas.

'However, disappointingly, the message doesn't seem to have hit home with all drivers. Despite the campaign coming to an end, officers will continue to patrol the roads as normal and anyone caught drink or drug-driving will face tough penalties.'

The number of drivers arrested and charged has also remained largely stable, with approximately 70 per cent of those arrested being charged with an offence.

A total of 224 people were arrested in this year's campaign, with 158 of those charged with an offence, compared with a total of 228 people arrested last year and 159 of those being charged with an offence.

A total of 50 Field Impairment Tests (FIT) were carried out on drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs during this year's campaign, compared with 60 last year.

Insp Jon Snook said: 'This sort of criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and offenders should realise that the punishments are tough if you are caught – you could be fined, banned from driving or even sent to jail.'