A MONTH-long campaign from Hampshire Constabulary is beginning today to target drink and drug drivers, warning “It’s not worth the risk.”

Starting today (December 1) as a part of Operation Holly, Hampshire Constabulary is working with Thames Valley Police to crack down on drivers causing destruction and distress under the influence of either drink or drugs.

Officers from both forces will be conducting operations throughout December across the areas of Hampshire, Thames Valley and the Isle of Wight. If officers suspect someone might be impaired by drugs, they are authorised to carry out a roadside drug test which will detect any trace of an illegal drug.

Rob Heard, road safety sergeant for Hampshire Constabulary, said: “Drug and drink driving are both very serious offences and all drivers need to understand the gravity and consequences of their actions if they drink and drive. If you are not sure, then it is not worth the risk.

“Operation Holly is designed to be a deterrent to any motorist thinking about driving while impaired by the effects of drugs or alcohol. The importance of personal responsibility for your choices must be emphasised.

“Please think about the pain and misery you could inflict on innocent road users by a reckless decision to drive or ride after taking drugs or consuming alcohol.

“Drug drivers should realise we can now test on the roadside for certain drugs. Only a trace amount of an illegal drug in a person’s system could lose them their licence like drink driving. We do not need to prove you are impaired.”

As part of the campaign every driver involved in a collision will be asked to provide a specimen of breath in accordance with the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Extra patrols will also be carried out based on intelligence about suspected offenders on drug and drink driving.

Rob Heard added: “I ask people to remember particularly that it is not possible specifically to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit. The way alcohol affects you varies depending on your personal characteristics.

“A conviction for drink/drug driving has the potential to ruin a person’s life and the incident itself the potential to cause serious injury or death on the roads - It’s not worth the risk.”

Members of the public are encouraged to report drink or drug drivers by calling 999 if the person is an immediate risk. Otherwise, people are asked to call 101 with the details of the last seen location of the vehicle, make, colour and registration, if known. Alternatively, people can contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or text 80999.