Drink-drive figures are shocking and unacceptable

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All right-thinking people know it’s wrong. Like smoking, drinking and driving has become socially unacceptable, but still they go on doing it.

Today’s drink-driving figures for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are shocking.

They show the number of December arrests are up three per cent on this time last year.

And to compound matters there have been more arrests in Portsmouth and the surrounding area than anywhere else in Hampshire.

Officers – those who have to deal with the aftermath of the carnage caused by drink-drivers – must be shaking their heads in disbelief. We certainly are.

What more do they have to do to ram home the message?

The force is displaying the wreck of a Vauxhall Corsa in which a 23-year-old woman drink-driver died in Hampshire a year ago. It will be in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, tonight and on Friday and at Gunwharf Quays on December 21. We have already published the sobering photograph of what remained of that vehicle.

And it’s not an age issue. Of those arrested, the youngest is 18, the oldest 81.

Superintendent Chris Brown, who is leading the Hampshire force’s Don’t Get Smashed Christmas campaign, says: ‘We have got people who are deliberately doing it and flouting the law.

‘Unfortunately we have got a situation where sadly some people are alcoholics and their concern about getting caught is the last thing on their minds.’

But they are in the minority. The rest are chancers, people of all ages and both sexes who reckon they can get away with one for the road.

The crackdown by Hampshire police this year is proving that they cannot.

We’ve said it before and we will repeat it again – there is only one option at this time of year, or any other time for that matter: if you are drinking alcohol do not drive. Do not even be tempted.

Take a taxi, train, bus or walk. If you are in a group have an alcohol-free nominated driver. And if you’ve had a skinful the night before, don’t even think about driving the following morning.