Thinking about drink driving? Think again..

Thames Valley Police have launched operation Holly, a Christmas campaign to clamp down on those who drink drive over the festive season.
Thames Valley Police have launched operation Holly, a Christmas campaign to clamp down on those who drink drive over the festive season.

Thames Valley Police have launched operation Holly, a Christmas campaign to clamp down on those who drink drive over the festive season.

Irresponsible and dangerous drink/drug drivers are to be targeted during the seasonal Op Holly Christmas campaign in a bid to reduce drug and alcohol related traffic collisions and to protect other road users.

Police are encouraging drivers to know ‘It’s Not Worth the Risk’ and not to drink alcohol and/or take drugs and get behind the wheel.

Between 1st December and 1st January officers will be carrying out breath tests, drug tests and field impairment test (FIT drug tests) at every opportunity.

This is to help raise awareness to people that we are proactively able to identify those that drive whilst impaired.

The operations will be intelligence led and focus on high risk areas we have identified and from following up on information supplied to us by the public.

The public are encouraged to report drink and drug drivers with as much information and detail as possible so they can be targeted. If you know someone who drink or drug drives you can report them on 101 or via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively there is a text number 077814 80999. If the person is an immediate risk to another we suggest the public call 999.

26% of all fatal collisions involve an impairment from drink or drugs. In Hampshire and Thames Valley region we catch around 400 drink drivers a month.

Most drink driving offences are committed between 7pm and 7am, but the risks of driving the morning after are not always recognised by motorists.

Rob Heard, Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police said: “Every year officers deal with cases of drink or drug driving that directly result in families facing Christmas without loves ones. Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can affect your ability to drive safely – don’t let your friends and family pay the price.

“Friends, colleagues and family members can positively influence those around them. So we are calling on them to stop potential drink or drug drivers from getting behind the wheel and risking tragedy this Christmas.

“We’ll be running targeted operations across the region to enforce the law on drink and drug driving: you can face an fine of up to £5000, disqualification for driving, and a long prison sentence. If you know someone who drink or drug drives please stop and think you can help combat this issue, report them to us on 101, by text 077814 80999 or call 999 if they are driving or immediately about to drive under the influence. The better the details you give to us the more chance we have to find and deal with them.

“I am urging people to plan ahead during the party season. Think about how you’re going to get home and don’t forget about the impact alcohol can still have the morning after. Our message is simple, don’t drink or drug drive it’s not worth the risk”.

Each month across Hampshire and Thames Valley just under 400 drivers are caught drink driving. Earlier this year our Summer drink / drug driving campaign showed a 37% rise in the number of drivers arrested for drug driving and 25% increase in the number arrested for drink driving.

Facts

· Each year on the roads of Hampshire and Thames Valley 140 people are killed or seriously injured as a result of alcohol.

· 26% of all fatal casualties in the JOU are shown as being impaired by alcohol or drugs as a contributory factor.

· It is shown that males in their mid-20's are the age group where there is the greatest number of breath tests being refused or failed.

· A person is 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision when using alcohol and illegal drugs together.

· Most drink driving offences are committed between 1900hrs and 0700hrs but the risks of driving the morning after are not always recognised by motorists.

· Approximately 80% of drink drivers in Hampshire and Thames Valley are male