A POLICE campaign aimed at preventing deaths caused by drink and drug driving in Hampshire will begin this month.

It’s Not Worth The Risk, or Operation Holly, will see extra patrols throughout December to prevent motorists from driving after drinking or taking drugs.

Drink and drug driving is recognised as one of the ‘fatal four’ factors that results in collisions that cause people to be killed or seriously injured.

Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police are working together to deter and detect behaviour behind the wheel that puts lives in danger on our roads.

Officers from both forces will conduct operations at all times throughout the day and night across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Every driver involved in a collision will be breathalysed by police, and officers will make extra patrols based on intelligence about suspected offenders.

The Roads Policing Unit is now also using Drug Analysers so officers can carry out roadside drug tests when there are reasonable grounds to suspect a motorist may have a trace amount of an illegal drug in their body.

These policing tactics are designed to be a deterrent to any motorist thinking about driving while impaired by the effects of alcohol or drugs.

Hampshire Constabulary’s road safety lead Sergeant Rob Heard, pictured, said: “The importance of personal responsibility for your choices must be emphasised. Think about the pain and misery you could inflict on innocent road users by a reckless decision to drive or ride after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.

“Being caught in control of any motor vehicle under the influence of drink or drugs can destroy your own life.

“Motorists breaking the law can face a criminal conviction, a prison sentence, driving ban, and the loss of your job.

“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.”

Sergeant Heard also emphasised the importance of being safe to drive the morning after drinking.

“After just four pints of lager, you may not be safe to drive for up to 13 hours, so whether you are drinking in the afternoon, at a work Christmas party, or going out for a few drinks in the evening, make sure you are safe to drive,” he said.

“Just because you haven’t had a drink for a few hours, it doesn’t mean all the alcohol has left your system and you can drive, you are still likely to be over the limit.”

If any member of the public suspects someone is driving while impaired by drink or drugs, please contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 or text 80999 with all the details of the vehicle, driver, location and times.

If you wish to remain anonymous, phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.