Hampshire police tell drivers to 'think carefully' as they tackle drink and drug driving over Christmas period

DRIVERS are being told to ‘think carefully’ about their travel plans as police launch their annual drink and drug driving campaign.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 2:02 pm

Hampshire Constabulary has have launched Operation Holly to tackle the problem of impaired drivers over the festive period, running from today until January 1.

The campaign combines educational and enforcement activity in the run up to Christmas and New Year, and officers are encouraging drivers to think about their ability to drive even the day after a heavy night.

Hampshire police breath tested 198 people in the crackdown last year, with seven drink-drivers found. They also stopped 25 drug-drivers, and two people driving while impaired.

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Sgt Dave Hazlett in Milton Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Ben Fishwick

Sergeant Dave Hazlett, of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘Every year we run Op Holly and every year we find that people still take to the roads having drunk too much alcohol or having taken drugs that will impair their driving.

‘It is important to plan how you are going to get home after a Christmas party or a night out.

‘Consider using public transport, taxis or have a designated driver, especially if going out in groups.

‘Think carefully about the morning after. It’s is highly likely that you will still be over the limit the next morning as it can take hours for alcohol and drugs to leave your system.

‘Even the slightest amount of alcohol or drugs in your system has the ability to effect the way you drive; increasing the risk of serious harm to either yourself or other road users.’

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Driving while impaired through drink or drugs can increase the chances of road users being killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision, the police officer said.

He added: ‘Therefore, this festive season, plan your journeys, think about how you are going to get home as this can reduce the chances of families facing Christmas and the future without their loved ones.

‘Our message is simple. Don’t drink or drug drive – it’s not worth the risk.

‘If you know of anyone who is drink or drug driving call 999 in an emergency, 101 with information or report via Crimestoppers.’

If a person is found guilty of drink driving they could be banned from driving, fined or even sent to prison.

The maximum sentence for drink driving is an unlimited fine and/or six months in jail.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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