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Less tolerance for drink drivers

People are becoming less tolerant of drink drivers - that's what police in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have found during their month long drink drive campaign. Since December 1, 100 people have been arrested for drink driving in the two counties.

Acting Police Sergeant Neil Lancaster spoke to Meridian and said officers have also been noticing how children are increasingly becoming the designated drivers for their parents on a night out.

Who's your designated driver tonight?

Revellers celebrating New Year's Eve are being told to have a designated driver Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Police are reminding festive party-goers to nominate a designated driver before heading out on the town this New Year’s Eve. The request comes as Hampshire Constabulary’s Christmas drink-drive campaign nears its end, with more than 100 people arrested for drink-driving since December 1.

Officers have been posting messages on Facebook and Twitter sites, encouraging people to get organised before they head out for the night. Chief inspector Andy Bottomley said: “People pulled over for drink-driving after a night out are often full of excuses but none of them are ever good enough.

“New Year’s Eve falls in the same month and on the same date every year so there’s no excuse not to plan ahead. Why not offer to buy one of your mate’s soft drinks all night, or pay for them to get into a club in exchange for that lift home?”

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Police arrest 17 suspected drink drivers

Roads policing officers have arrested 17 people on suspicion of drink-driving just two days into Hampshire Constabulary’s ‘Smashed’ campaign. 'Smashed' was launched on Saturday and is aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers around the festive season.

Between 12.01am on Saturday and 11.59pm on Sunday, 17 people - 13 men and four women - were arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Of those arrested, 14 were charged and three were bailed pending further enquiries.

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Number arrested down a fifth

Police arrested 593 people during Hampshire Constabulary’s summer drink-drive campaign Op Solar, 19 per cent less than in 2011. Of 593 arrests, 445 people where charged with driving under the influence, three were bailed pending further enquiries and 145 were released with no further action.

It is encouraging to see a reduction in the number of drink-drivers this summer. While we have arrested fewer people this year, 593 is still too great a number. This demonstrates drink-driving is still an issue which many do not take seriously. For those who drink and drive I have this message: You are an accident waiting to happen. It just takes one wrong move, one delayed reaction and my officers could be knocking on your family’s door to tell them you’re dead. Worse still, my officers could be knocking on another family’s door to tell them their loved one is dead because of you."

– Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, Hampshire Constabulary Roads Policing Unit,

Of those arrested, there were 482 men and 111 women. The youngest arrested was a 16-year-old boy and the oldest a 79-year-old man. The average age of those arrested was 36 years. August saw the most arrests this year with 201 followed by June with 188.

Last year the campaign’s busiest month was July with 279 arrests, then August with 234, followed by June with 188.

Police find more drink drivers in Hampshire

A driver is breathalysed by police Credit: PC

Police have carried out 28% fewer breath tests in this summers drink drive campaign but found the same number of drink drivers.Officers took 1,543 breath tests from motorists in June this year – 598 fewer tests than 2011 - but made an equal number of arrests.

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 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.

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