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Operation Solar

Make this a summer to remember, not forget. Hampshire Constabulary has launched its summer drink-drive reduction campaign, called Operation Solar.

Last year 692 people were arrested between June 1 and September 1 on suspicion of drink-driving. Of those arrested 561 were charged with the offence.

With Britain hosting the 2012 Olympics, the Roads Policing unit is anticipating a potential rise in people unwittingly getting behind the wheel drunk as they celebrate what is hoped to be a golden year for UK athletes. There are a lot of events this summer that will see many of us gather to celebrate with friends and family. This summer should be one to remember, so the last thing we want is for 2012 to be a year some would rather forget because of drink driving. The message therefore is simple: donít drink and drive. Itís simply not worth the risk.

Roads policing officers will be out in force this summer carrying out drink-drive operations throughout the two counties. Officers will breathalyse everyone suspected of a driving offence.

This year theyíll also be carrying out early morning operations targeting those who may still be suffering the affects of alcohol consumed the night before. Drinking late into the evening and then getting up early for work is not a good combination. Just because youíve had a few hours sleep doesnít mean all the alcohol has left your system, and you could still be driving to work over the limit.

The worst age group for drink-driving was 21 to 25-year-olds with 146 arrests (21 per cent) between June and September. Drivers aged between 26 and 30 came in a close second with 93 arrests (13 per cent).

Anyone caught drink-driving faces a minimum 12-month ban, up to £5,000 fine and a criminal record Ė and thatís the best case scenario. Causing death by drink-driving carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison and a minimum two-year ban. Being drunk in charge of a vehicle could result in three months' imprisonment, a fine of up to £2,500 and a driving ban.

Iím often asked how much you can drink before you are over the limit. Any amount of alcohol affects your coordination and judgement. The simplest and safest option for everyone is simply not to drink if you plan to drive.

Remember, Hampshire really is a safe place to live and work. However, we can all do our bit to make it an even better place to be so if you have information about ANY crime, please do not hesitate to give Crimestoppers a call. 0800 555 111 or log on to www.mostwanted-uk.org. You can also follow me on twitter @HantsCrimestopp.

Article posted on: 01 June 2012

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