DRINK drive arrests across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are down 22 per cent as the police begin week three of its Smashed campaign.

Officers have now arrested 97 people, including ten in the Winchester area, on suspicion of drink-driving since the Christmas campaign launched on December 1.

Some 71 men and 26 women were arrested between Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 16.

The figure shows a 22 per cent drop in arrests during the same period in 2011. So far, the youngest person arrested was 18 years old and the oldest was 81. The average age of alleged offenders was 37 years.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley said: “I would like to be able to say the decrease in arrests is down to the drink-drive message finally getting through – and I hope it is.

“A reduction is certainly encouraging as it does perhaps suggest that fewer people are taking that risk than last year. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be complacent. We’re still arresting drink-drive suspects every day and know we’ll arrest more before the year is out."

North Hampshire has seen the greatest number of arrests so far with 35 [36 per cent]. Of those, 11 were arrested in Hart and Rushmoor, 10 in East Hampshire and Winchester, nine in Basingstoke and Deane and five in Andover.

East Hampshire follows closely behind in the arrest stakes, with 34 [35 per cent]. Of those, 16 were in Fareham and Gosport, nine in Portsmouth, five on the Isle of Wight and four in Havant.

In the West Hampshire, 17 people were arrested in Southampton, six in the New Forest and five in Eastleigh and Romsey.