NEARLY 150 motorists have been arrested for drink or drug driving offences across the Thames Valley area in the first two weeks of December, according to police figures.
Officers and staff from the Joint Roads Policing Unit for Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary made 142 arrests in total in the Thames Valley area during the first 15 days of a dedicated operation dubbed Operation Holly.
This Christmas, police are continuing to warn motorists who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs that they will be caught and face serious consequences.
Additional roads policing patrols are being conducted throughout December, with every driver involved in a collision being breathalysed by police.
Regular roadside drug tests are being carried out when there is reasonable grounds to suspect a motorist may have a trace amount of an illegal drug in their body.
Between December 1 and December 15 there were 117 arrests for drink offences, 30 arrests for drugs offences and five arrests for failing to provide a specimen offences.
However, these figures include arrests for multiple offences.
The arrests have so far have led to 88 charges, 46 suspects on bail after arrest, and 18 released with no further action.
Head of the joint roads policing unit, Supt Simon Dodds, said: “Driving under the influence is a deliberate act. It is never an accident.
“If you are going out and plan to be having a drink, remove the temptation, leave your keys at home and arrange a lift.
“If you know somebody is driving under the influence – it could even be your friends or family – tell us so we can put a stop to it before it is too late.”
If you suspect someone is driving while impaired by drink or drugs, call police on 101 or text 80999 with all the details of the vehicle, driver, location and times.
In a life-threatening emergency, always dial 999. If you wish to remain anonymous, phone the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Thames Valley Police are offering further advice to motorists over the festive period.
A spokesperson said: "It is not possible specifically to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit;
"The way alcohol affects you varies depending on your personal characteristics; these factors include:
* Your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy);
* The type and amount of alcohol you're drinking;
* What you've eaten recently;
* Your stress levels at the time.
"After just four pints of lager, you may not be safe to drive for up to 13 hours, so whether you are drinking in the afternoon at a works Christmas party, or going out for a few drinks in the evening, make sure you are safe to drive."