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Drink-drive figures tumble in Hampshire
ARRESTS tumbled in Hampshire as motorists seemed to get the message about the dangers of drink-driving over the festive period.
A total of 19 drink-drivers were arrested in the Basingstoke police area between December 1 and January 1 as part of Hampshire Constabulary’s Smashed campaign.
The Smashed figures show that county-wide, drink-drive arrests were down 15 per cent on last year, despite a four per cent increase in the total number of drivers who were breath-tested.
During the festive period, a total of 5,811 drivers were tested by Hampshire Constabulary and, of those tested, 205 gave a positive reading and were arrested. Of those arrested, 12 per cent were at least three times over the drink-drive limit.
The police have since charged 140 people (68 per cent) with drink-drive offences, bailed 51 (25 per cent) pending further enquiries, and released 14 (seven per cent) with no further action.
Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, head of roads policing for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, said: “I am obviously very pleased with the results which do suggest a reduction in drink-driving offences during the campaign.
“It is important to point out that while we carry out drink-drive operations throughout the year, we see a spike in this type of offending in the weeks leading up to and just after Christmas.
“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 into our Christmas campaign in 2012.
“I like to think that this has paid dividends, not only because of the number of arrests made but hopefully in that the volume of officers out on Hampshire’s and the Isle of Wight’s roads would, for some, have been good enough reason not to chance it.”
There was a 44 per cent increase in female drivers arrested and a fall of 27 per cent in male drivers detained. Those aged between 30 and 39 had the highest breath-test failure rate.