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Big fall in arrests for drink-driving in Hampshire
THERE was a big drop in the number of people arrested during this summer’s crackdown on drink-driving in Hampshire.
A total of 593 people were arrested by Hampshire Constabulary during Operation Solar this year – a 19 per cent reduction on 2011.
Of the 593 arrested between June 1 and September 3, 445 (75 per cent) were charged with drink-driving, three were bailed pending further enquiries and 145 (24 per cent) were released with no further action.
Of those arrested, 482 (81 per cent) were men.
Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, of Hampshire Constabulary Roads Policing Unit, said: “It is encouraging to see a reduction in the number of drink-drivers this summer.
“But while we have arrested fewer people this year, 593 is still too great a number. Sadly, this demonstrates that drink-driving is still an issue which many people do not take seriously.”
The majority of arrests were made in the Northern Area (35 per cent), with 64 in Hart and Rushmoor, 63 in East Hampshire and Winchester, 50 in Basingstoke and Deane, and 31 in Andover.
The Western Area, including Southampton, Eastleigh and Romsey and the New Forest, saw 195 people (33 per cent) arrested for driving under the influence.
The remaining 32 per cent of arrests were made in the force’s Eastern Area, which includes Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Fareham and Gosport.
The youngest person arrested was a 16-year-old teenager and the oldest was a 79-year-old man. The average age of those arrested was 36.
The month with the most arrests was August, with 201, followed by June with 188, and July with 186. The first three days of September saw 18 arrests.
Chief Insp Bottomley said: “Next to Christmas, we see the greatest number of drink-driving offences in the summer months.