Thames Valley festive drink drive campaign sees arrests rise

TVPolice cracked down on drink driving over Christmas
TVPolice cracked down on drink driving over Christmas

Statistics from Thames Valley Police’s Operation Holly shows an increase in arrests for drink/drug driving across the district compared to last years figures.

The operation ran from December 1, 2017 through to January 1, 2018 and combined high visibility patrols, covert operations and intelligence-led policing to target persistent offenders and drink and drug drivers.

Members of the public were also encouraged to report anyone they thought were a risk to 101, or Crimestoppers

In Thames Valley 347 drivers were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an 8.93 per cent increase from last year’s total of 316.

Over three quarters of those drivers arrested were male, with the highest offending age group across the two force regions were aged 21 to 30, a considerable amount more than any other age group.

Sergeant Rob Heard, Roads Policing Joint Operations Unit for Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary, said:

“We’ve seen a rise in the number of people we have arrested for drink or drug-driving. New legislation and equipment has made detecting drug drivers much easier and this resulted in 63 extra arrests. 25 per cent of those were impaired by drugs.

“Our commitment in roads policing is unwavering towards preventing the distress and misery caused by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Such behaviour on our roads has far-reaching effects not just for the impaired driver, but for any innocent road users affected by their destructive decisions.

“The lives of individuals and their families can be torn apart through a combination of physical, psychological and legal consequences.

“Too many people continue to be complacent about the realities of road deaths and serious injuries. That’s why we want everyone to be clear about their responsibilities, and have respect for each other on the road.

“As in previous campaigns, we were greatly assisted by members of the public who passed us vital information and helped us take these drivers off the roads. Drink and drug-driving kills or injures people.

He added: “Our message is simple - don’t mix drink or drugs with driving - it’s not worth the risk.”