If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Drink-driving falls across two counties
THE number of people drink driving fell across Dorset and Hampshire over the festive period.
Arrests dropped 25 per cent in Dorset and 15 per cent in Hampshire.
During Hampshire Constabulary’s Smashed campaign, which ran from December 1 to January 1, 5,811 drivers were breath tested and 205 people gave a positive reading. Of those, 12 per cent were at least three times over the drink drive limit.
Police have since charged 140 people with drink-drive offences, bailed 51 pending further inquiries and released 14 with no further action.
This year saw a 44 per cent increase in female drivers arrested (up from 43 to 62) whereas male driver arrests fell 27 per cent from 197 to 143. The youngest person arrested was 17 years old and oldest was 81.
In Dorset, 100 people – 79 men and 21 women – were arrested between December 1 and January 1.
Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley of roads policing for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, said: “After seeing a nine per cent rise in drink-drive arrests in 2011, it was clear that we needed to invest more time and resources in our Christmas campaign in 2012.
“As part of this we carried out operations every Friday and Saturday night and Sunday and Monday morning as well as our usual roadside checks, and joined forces with the local Safer Neighbourhoods teams, spreading drink-drive messages with the help of bumper stickers, beer mats in local pubs and by touring with a crashed car that just one year previously had been involved in a drink drive fatality.”
Dorset traffic sergeant Joe Pardey said: “It is encouraging to see that the number of drivers risking their lives, and the lives of other road users, by choosing to drink and drive has reduced.
“Most of the motorists stopped were very supportive of the officers’ actions and fully supported the campaign to reduce road casualties.”