HUNDREDS OF drivers were arrested and more than a thousand drivers were stopped in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as part of the festive drink and drug driving crackdown entitled Operation Holly by Hampshire police.
From December 1, 2021 to January 1 this year, the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit of Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police launched the operation on the region’s roads; which combined educational and enforcement activity and was supported by officers across both forces.
Across the area of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight combined:
- 288 people were arrested, 168 for drink driving and 120 for drug driving.
- 1033 breath tests were conducted, with 22 positive results – 2.13% of those tested
- 139 drug wipes were carried out, with 67 positive results – 48.2% of those tested
- The age group with the most positive breath tests and drug wipes combined was 35-49 (28.96% of total) followed by 25-34 (25.56%).
- Those aged 25-34 had the highest percentage of positive breath tests (36.36%) followed by 35-49 (31.81%).
- Those aged 17-24 had the highest percentage of positive drug wipes (32.83%), closely followed by 25-34 (31.34%) and 35-49 (28.35%).
Among notable Operation Holly arrests in Hampshire was one which took place following an incident back on December 2. Officers were called to Ridding Close, Southampton at 6.19pm following reports of a Suzuki car colliding with bollards, roadside furniture and parked vehicles on this road and Church Street.
The vehicle was searched, as well as premises nearby. A 28-year-old man from Southampton was arrested for drink driving and possession of an offensive weapon in a private place; he was released under investigation whilst enquires continue.
Sergeant Dave Hazlett, of Hampshire & Thames Valley Police Road Safety Unit, said: “These figures show that we will not tolerate drink or drug driving on the roads of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
“The percentage of positive breath test results reflects what we already know – that the vast majority of road users follow the rules. I would like to thank everyone who drove responsibly over the festive season and helped to keep our roads safe”.
“On the other hand, the percentage of positive drug wipes shows that drug driving remains an issue, across several age groups”.
“Although the operation has ended, we are still policing our roads and arresting drink and drug drivers on a daily basis. Make sure you drive responsibly so your name is not added to that list”.
“Our advice is clear. Drinking alcohol or taking any drug, even if prescribed, can affect your ability to drive safely – so it’s not worth the risk”.
Driving while impaired through drink or drugs can increase the chances of people being killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision.
If you know of anyone who is drink or drug driving call 999 in an emergency, 101 with information or report anonymously via Crimestoppers.