5:47pm Wednesday 12th December 2012
DRINK drive arrests across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are up three per cent as the Hampshire Constabulary Smashed campaign enters its second week.
Police officers have arrested 64 people on suspicion of drink-driving since the Christmas campaign launched on December 1.
Between December 1-9, 45 men [70 per cent] and 19 women [30 per cent] were arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The figure shows a three per cent increase on arrests during the same period in 2011.
Of those arrested, 39 were charged [61 per cent], 18 were bailed pending further enquiries [28 per cent] and seven were released with no further action.
So far, the youngest person arrested was 18 years old and the oldest was 81. The average age of alleged offenders was 37 years.
The campaign, which runs until January 1, 2013, will see police targeting individuals they suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, both on the way home from nights out and the morning after.
Chief Insp Andy Bottomley said: “It’s impossible to say whether this increase in arrests is down to us stepping up our drink-drive operations or whether it’s down to people turning a blind eye to the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
“Either way, we don’t want to be catching more people, we want there to be fewer offenders – ideally none at all - to catch.
East Hampshire had the greatest number of arrests so far with 24 [38 per cent]. Of those, 11 were in Fareham and Gosport, seven in Portsmouth, four on the Isle of Wight and two in Havant.
North and West Hampshire both had 31 per cent of arrests, with 20 each.t
In the North, seven were arrested in Basingstoke and Deane, six in East Hampshire and Winchester, four people were arrested in Andover and three in Hart and Rushmoor.
In the West Hampshire, 11 people were arrested in Southampton, six in the New Forest and three in Eastleigh and Romsey.
Hampshire Constabulary is asking members of the public across the two counties to text 80999 to report anyone they suspect of driving drink or being drug impaired behind the wheel.
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