Police arrest 26 people for drink and drug driving offences over Christmas

A total of 26 people were arrested for drink and drug driving offences in the Royal Borough last month as part of a Thames Valley Police operation

While in Slough it was 49, making it the third highest offending region in the Thames Valley.

Operation Holly was a Christmas campaign by TVP together with Hampshire Constabulary which saw 666 impaired drivers across the two regions arrested between December 1 to January 1.

The amount arrested for drink driving in the Royal Borough was 18, and drug driving eight. Slough recorded 28 arrests for drink driving and 21 for drugs.

The overall results showed a decrease in the number of drink drive arrests – which fell by 5 per cent – however the figure for drug drivers increased by 28 per cent. The combined drink and drug arrests figure for the whole of the Thames Valley saw an increase of 1.2 per cent.

More than 4,200 breath tests were carried out during the Op Holly period by policing officers, with 155 blowing over the drink drive limit.

More than half of the 284 drivers tested for drugs had a positive result, while 150 people who had a drug wipe test had a trace of drugs in their system. A further 26 were arrested for failing a Field Impairment Test (FIT).

The worst offending drink driving age group were 35-49 years, while the highest number of drug drivers were aged 17-24.

Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard, from the Roads Policing Unit for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police said: “This year we have been very intelligence-led and worked closely with our partners from other organisations to help remind people of the dangers and consequences of impaired driving.

“We’ve seen a small drop in the number arrested for drink driving, which is good, however there continues to be a steady rise in the number caught for drug driving over the last few years.

“We need to consider that the increase in drug driver arrests is not necessarily because we have more drug drivers on the road, but that officers can conduct road side drug testing, using drug analysers to test for a level of certain illegal drugs in a person’s saliva, which wasn’t available pre-2015.

“The difference being that there only needs to be a trace of one of the eight illegal drugs and no proof of impairment is required for a conviction.

“Different drugs will vary in the time they take to process through your system.

“Our message is simple – don’t mix drink or drugs with driving, they may stay longer in your system than you think – It’s not worth the risk. 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.

“It is disappointing that some people still take that risk. Too many 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.”

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