601 drink and drug driving arrests have been made across Hampshire and the Thames Valley, during the Joint Roads Policing Unit Christmas campaign.
Operation Holly targeted drivers during the festive period, showing a 10% increase in arrests compared to the previous campaign
A further 352 were charged and a further 175 released under further investigation.
In Hampshire, 254 drivers were caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs in their system, which is a 12.6 per cent increase from last year’s total of 222.
In the Thames Valley, 347 drivers were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which is an 8.93 per cent increase from last year’s total of 316.
Hampshire and Thames Valley Police have also confirmed more than three quarters of those drivers arrested were male.
The highest offending age group across the two force regions was between the ages of 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:
A total of 601 arrests for drink and drug driving were made across #Hampshire and the Thames Valley area during Operation Holly - the Joint Roads Policing Unit Christmas campaign. For full details, please visit our website: https://t.co/cu8GLnK2P2 #OpHolly pic.twitter.com/Qt3Ytk9mTs— Hampshire Police (@HantsPolice) January 12, 2018
“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% 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.
“Our message is simple – don’t mix drink or drugs with driving – it’s not worth the risk.”