Irresponsible and dangerous drink drivers will be targeted by police this Christmas in a seasonal clamp down aimed at reducing alcohol and drug related crashes and to protect other road users.
Officers are encouraging drivers to know ‘It’s Not Worth the Risk’ and not to drink alcohol and/or take drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Op Holly is returning this Christmas, with police set to carry out breath tests, drug tests and field impairment test (FIT drug tests) at every opportunity between December 1 and January 1, 2019.
With the aim of raising awareness to people that they are proactively able to identify those that drive whilst impaired.
The operations will be intelligence led and focus on areas that police have identified as high risk and from following up on information supplied to us by the public.
Rob Heard, road safety sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police said: ‘Every year officers deal with cases of drink or drug driving that directly result in families facing Christmas without loves ones.
‘Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can affect your ability to drive safely – don’t let your friends and family pay the price.
‘Friends, colleagues and family members can positively influence those around them. So we are calling on them to stop potential drink or drug drivers from getting behind the wheel and risking tragedy this Christmas.
‘We’ll be running targeted operations across the region to enforce the law on drink and drug driving: you can face an fine of up to £5000, disqualification for driving, and a long prison sentence.
‘If you know someone who drink or drug drives please stop and think you can help combat this issue, report them to us on 101, by text 077814 80999 or call 999 if they are driving or immediately about to drive under the influence. The better the details you give to us the more chance we have to find and deal with them.
‘I am urging people to plan ahead during the party season. Think about how you’re going to get home and don’t forget about the impact alcohol can still have the morning after. Our message is simple, don’t drink or drug drive it’s not worth the risk’.
The public are encouraged to report drink and drug drivers with as much information and detail as possible so they can be targeted.
If you know someone who drink or drug drives you can report them via text on. If the person is an immediate risk to another we suggest the public call 999.
According to police statistics 26 per cent of all fatal collisions involve an impairment from drink or drugs.
In the Hampshire and Thames Valley region police catch around 400 drink drivers a month.
Most drink driving offences are committed between 7pm and 7am, but the risks of driving the morning after are not always recognised by motorists.
Earlier this year police's summer drink / drug driving campaign showed a 37 per cent rise in the number of drivers arrested for drug driving and 25 per cent increase in the number arrested for drink driving.
Facts about drink and drug driving
- Each year on the roads of Hampshire and Thames Valley 140 people are killed or seriously injured as a result of alcohol.
- 26 per cent of all fatal casualties in the JOU are shown as being impaired by alcohol or drugs as a contributory factor.
- It is shown that males in their mid-20's are the age group where there is the greatest number of breath tests being refused or failed.
- A person is 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision when using alcohol and illegal drugs together.
- Approximately 80 per cent of drink drivers in Hampshire and Thames Valley are male.