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Police launch Christmas drink-driving crackdown

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Dorset PCs Simon Hatch and Heidi Moxam
Dorset PCs Simon Hatch and Heidi Moxam

POLICE have launched a drink-driving crackdown for the festive season across Hampshire and Dorset.

The two forces will be targeting motorists with extra roadside alcohol and drug tests during December, and have urged people to report anyone they suspect of getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

Last year during Hampshire’s Operation Holly there were 1,049 breath tests carried out, of which 67 were positive. From 80 drug wipes, 44 were positive.

Sgt Scott Kerr, road safety sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley police, said: “This year, with the restrictions imposed by the government as a result of the pandemic, it is important that if you drink at home it is done sensibly and responsibly.

“In licensed premises such as pubs and restaurants, they serve measured amounts of alcohol. However, at home it is unlikely that you measure exactly how much alcohol you pour into a glass.

“Therefore, it is crucial to think about the morning after. It can take hours for alcohol to leave your system after drinking, so it may still not be safe for you to drive.”

In Dorset last year, officers carried out 631 breath tests and charged 57 people with a drink-drive-related offence, and 103 people with a drug-drive-related offence.

Insp. Joe Pardey, of the Dorset roads policing team, said: “Despite long-term reductions, drink and drug-driving still accounts for 15% of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year. We want to work with the public to not place additional unnecessary pressures on our NHS.”

PC Heidi Moxam, of the Alliance Roads Policing team, added: “Having to break the news to loved ones that a family member is never coming home is one of the worst parts of my role, but sadly it happens all too often.”

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