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Police and Crime Commissioner’s Christmas message as crackdown on drink and drug drivers continues

13 December 2023

The Police Commissioner, Donna Jones, has urged motorists across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to think twice before getting behind the wheel over the festive period.

The Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and Thames Valley Police are targeting drink and drug drivers throughout December as part of Operation Holly.

PCC Donna Jones said: “Drink and drug driving kills. That is the stark message for anyone who is thinking about driving while impaired during this festive month.

“The vast majority of motorists are responsible but sadly there are still those who take to the roads under the influence of drink or drugs, particularly at this time of year.

“Road safety must continue to be a top priority for everyone because impaired drivers not only risk their own lives but also the lives of others who are on the road at the same time.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary is calling on drivers to make alternative arrangements like having a designated driver or booking a taxi if impaired. The Force has increased its patrols and enforcement activity this month to catch anyone driving while under the influence.

PCC Donna Jones added: “The festive period is a time for celebration with families and communities coming together but no one wants to go through the devastation caused by drink and drug driving so if you’re unfit to drive, don’t drive.”

The previous annual Christmas crackdown in December 2022 saw 142 drink driving offences and 136 drug driving offences recorded across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Last year, there were 57 fatal road collisions in the two counties. Impairment by drink or drugs was recorded as a contributing factor in 18% of these incidents.

Road safety is a top priority for the Police Commissioner. Earlier this year, the PCC invested more than £650K to make roads safer with the installation of eight average speed cameras for the A32 and the A272 in the Meon Valley.

Reaching the Commissioner’s target of 650 extra police officers for the two counties also triggered the creation of further roads policing posts.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary reintroduced a dedicated Roads Policing Team on the Isle of Wight to improve safety for all road users on the Island following the Commissioner’s target to recruit additional officers.

PCC Donna Jones said: “I’m committed to making roads safer for all, but this is also about personal responsibility and everyone must be accountable for the choices they make on the roads over this festive period and into the new year.”

Nationally, nearly 9,000 drivers were caught drink or drug driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in a six week period from 21 November 2022 to 1 January 2023 with 8,713 positive results from those who were tested.