HUNDREDS of people were arrested as part of an annual crackdown on drink and drug driving over Christmas. 

From December 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022, officers from the Joint Operations Policing Unit of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and Thames Valley Police carried out targeted patrol activity in order to stop drivers and carry out drink and drug roadside testing.

Across both force areas, 737 arrests were made, with 286 of those being made across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

This is an increase from December 2021, where 639 arrests across both areas were made, 276 of which were in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

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Of the arrests made during the most recent campaign, 153 were for drink driving and 133 were for drug driving.

The campaign was backed this year by Karen Marchant, who lost her 15-year-old daughter Rebecca when she was killed by a drink driver in February 2016.

Chief Inspector Chris Spellerburg of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit said: “While I am pleased this year’s campaign has been a success with so many arrests, there are still too many people continuing to get behind the wheel despite being under the influence.

“Anyone who drives after drinking or taking drugs is putting the lives of innocent people at risk.

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“All too often drink or drug driving leads to devastating collisions where people are killed or seriously injured.

“Even the smallest amount of alcohol or drugs can impair your ability to drive and we hope the message of this campaign gets through.

“It is never acceptable to drink or drug drive. It’s not worth the risk.”