More Arrests For Drink Drive Campaign

Southampton, Winchester and Havant had the greatest number of arrests during the first month of Hampshire Constabulary's summer drink-drive campaign, Op Solar.

Of the 186 people arrested between June 1 and June 30, Southampton accounted for 36 followed jointly by Havant and Winchester and East Hants district with 19 arrests each.

Of the three force Areas – Northern, Western and Eastern – it was Eastern that had the most arrests, 67, with 19 in Havant, 18 in Portsmouth, 18 on the Isle of Wight and 12 in Fareham.

The Western Area accounted for 64 drink-drive arrests with 36 in Southampton, 18 in Eastleigh and Romsey and 10 in the New Forest.

In the north of the county there were 55 arrests in total, with 19 in Winchester and East Hampshire, 18 in Hart and Rushmore, 13 in Basingstoke and Deane and five in Andover.

Officers carried out 1,543 breath tests in June this year – 598 fewer tests than 2011 but an equal number of arrests.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley of Hampshire Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit, said:

"Southampton is the biggest city in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight so it's no surprise we're seeing the most arrests there.

"What is a surprise however is that at least 36 people would take such a risk in a built up area. Drink-driving is unacceptable wherever you do it, but the risk to others on the road is even greater when you're in a densely populated area.

"We target drink-drivers all year round but in the summer months and at Christmas we see a rise in those willing to take such an idiotic risk with their lives. As a result we will be carrying out operations solely targeting drink-drivers across the two counties from now until September."

Drink-drivers can face a 12-month ban, up to £5,000 in fines, a criminal record and up to six years in prison. The offence will remain on their licence for 11 years and they will struggle to hire a car for a decade.

The cost of car insurance will also be heavily affected by a drink-drive conviction.

Ch Insp Bottomley added:

"We have seen first hand the devastation a drink-driving collision can cause and while we know it's only a matter of time before we see it again, we'll do everything we can to reduce the chances.

"Don't drink and drive. It's simply not worth the risk."