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9 January 2015, 06:38
Hampshire Police arrested 195 people on suspicion of drink-driving during their festive campaign last month - slightly down on 2013.
As part of activities to prevent drink driving during the Christmas period, officers stepped up activities to breathalyse people at every opportunity across the county and on the Isle of Wight. Out of the 6,918 people breathalysed, 195 were arrested in relation to a suspected offence (2.8%).
A total of 195 people were arrested. That compares to 213 arrests on suspicion of the same offences during December 2013
5,925 breath tests were administered where a collision was NOT involved and 150 people (2.5%) were arrested for providing a positive result, failing to provide or refusal. 993 breath tests were administered following a collision and 45 people (4.5%) were arrested for a providing a positive result, failing to provide or refusal.
The total number of collisions reported in December 2014 was 1,300.
Of those 195 arrested persons, 34 were women and 161 were men. A total of 140 people have been charged with an offence (72%), 31 people have been bailed (16%) and 24 people will face no further action (12%).
The oldest person to be arrested and either charged or bailed is 80, whilst the youngest is 17.
44 of the drivers arrested were under the age of 25.
The highest proportion of arrests were made in Southampton (34), followed by Portsmouth (25) and Basingstoke and Deane (24). The least number were in Andover (10).
Hampshire Constabulary's Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard said:
"These results show that Hampshire Constabulary is dedicated to reducing the risks of impaired driving on our roads. Driving whilst impaired greatly increases your risk of being involved in a collision and can cause devastating consequences to all involved. It is pleasing to see that the message is getting through with over 97% of people stopped being legal to drive and a drop in the number of people over the drink drive limit from last year.
"This has been helped by the large number of people being breath tested, as each one of them will have told their family and friends and this may well have made someone think twice about taking a chance and driving whilst impaired. It is disappointing that 195 people tested positive, putting their own and other lives at risk through their actions. We will continue to target those who drive whilst impaired to make our roads safer and to prevent the devastating consequences of fatal collisions. This is vital and important work and all of our officers and staff are dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the number of those people who think it is safe to drive whilst impaired. It's not worth the risk!
"During December we have had some shocking incidents involving drink drivers. One involved an Articulated Tanker driver who was stopped on the M27 eastbound at Rownhams, near Southampton. The vehicle was a low hazardous tanker and on being stopped the driver could hardly stand up and needed to be supported by the officers. He blew 110mg, which is over 3 times the drink drive limit. He was charged with the offence and went to court on 7th January where he received a disqualification for two years and 120 hours of unpaid work.
"This is just one instance where the reckless and totally irresponsible actions of a driver narrowly avoided a serious incident which could have caused many serious and fatal injuries."