Drink-driving arrests up 25 per cent across Thames Valley over Christmas crackdown

Bucks Free Press: Drink-driving arrests up 25 per cent across Thames Valley Drink-driving arrests up 25 per cent across Thames Valley

DRINK driving arrests have shot up 25 per cent across the Thames Valley just eight days into a crackdown launched by police over the festive period.

And so out of the total of 84 arrests made, 37 have taken place on the roads of Bucks.

Thames Valley Police launched the ‘Is it worth the risk?’ campaign on December 1 and aims to target both drink and drug drivers.

Of those arrested, 68 were men [a 19 per cent increase] and 16 were women [a 60 per cent increase]. The oldest was a 75-year-old woman arrested in Bicester, on December 1, and the youngest was an 18-year-old man arrested in Henley on the same day. The average age of those arrested was 37.

Chief Inspector Henry Parsons from the Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police Joint Operations Unit (JOU) said: “Drinking and driving wrecks lives, most obviously the hundreds of victims and their loved ones who are killed each year.

“But it also changes the lives of the people who are selfish or stupid enough to drive when they are not fit to do so.”

“If you choose to drink and drive, and it is a choice, you face a driving ban, up to £5,000 in fines and a criminal record.

“There is no excuse for drink driving and our message is simple; don’t do it. It’s not worth the risk.”

The highest reading so far was taken from a driver in Slough on Tuesday, December 3. Michal Zakrezewski, 32 from Ascot blew 133 micrograms of alcohol in their breath which is more than three times the legal limit (which is 35mg of alcohol in breath) and has been charged and bailed to return to Slough Magistrates Court on Friday, January 3.

In total, 44 of the 84 arrested have been charged, 29 bailed and 11 released with no further action.

This year’s arrests show a 25 per cent increase on the 67 arrests made during the same period in 2012.

The campaign, which runs until January 1, will see police targeting individuals they suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, both on the way home from nights out and the morning after a heavy night.

Of the arrests, 26 have been made in Berkshire, 37 in Buckinghamshire and 21 in Oxfordshire.

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