The Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and Thames Valley Police made more than 700 drink and drug driving arrests over Christmas.

They were made as part of Operation Holly, the annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaign led by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC).

From December 1 to December 31, officers carried out targeted patrol activity across the county to stop drivers and carry out drink and drug road side testing.

Across both force areas, 737 arrests were made, with 286 of those being made across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight alone.

The figures show the number was up on last year by 98.

In December 2021 there were 639 arrests made in total, with 276 in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

During the 2022 campaign, of the arrests made, 153 were for drink driving and 133 were for drug driving.

The campaign was backed by mum Karen Marchant.

She lost her 15-year-old daughter Rebecca when she was killed by a drink driver in February 2016.

Chief Inspector Chris Spellerberg, of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, said: “While I am pleased this year’s campaign has been a success with so many arrests, there are still too many people continuing to get behind the wheel despite being under the influence.

“Anyone who drives after drinking or taking drugs is putting the lives of innocent people at risk.

“All too often drink or drug driving leads to devastating collisions where people are killed or seriously injured.

“Even the smallest amount of alcohol or drugs can impair your ability to drive and we hope the message of this campaign gets through.

“It is never acceptable to drink or drug drive.

“It’s not worth the risk.”