MORE than 100 arrests for drink or drug driving were made in a festive crackdown by police. 

Figures from the county-wide campaign by Dorset Police saw the number of offending drivers increase from last year.

The campaign, carried out between Friday, December 1 and Monday, January 1, saw 113 people arrested in connection with 127 suspected drink and drug driving offences, and some drivers were arrested on suspicion of both drink and drug-related offences.

Of the 113 arrests, 71 people were arrested on suspicion of drink driving; 53 people on suspicion of drug driving and three further arrests were made for failing to provide a sample for analysis.

The number of arrests during the campaign is up from last year, when 85 were made.

Before the campaign began, the remaining 11 months of 2023 saw 601 people blow over the 35mg threshold for alcohol per 100ml of breath when tested by the roadside.

Exact locations of the arrests were not available, but 82 were made on urban roads, whilst 31 were caught on rural roads.

According to a spokesperson for Dorset Police, charging someone with a drink or drug driving offence can begin after blood samples are returned, which often takes months to complete, therefore it is not known at this time how many people arrested were charged.

Inspector Craig Tatton, of the Roads Policing Team, said: “During December, we increased operational activity in an attempt to catch drink and drug drivers who put other roads users at risk.

“While it is disappointing to see an increase in the number of suspected drink and drug drive related offences, I am pleased that our increased efforts to tackle those drivers has resulted in so many arrests and potential convictions."

Inspector Tatton went on to say that drink and drug driving is one of the main causes of deaths and serious injuries on roads in Dorset, and said the 'devastating' pain this causes to victims' families is preventable. 

He added: “As in previous years, I would like to thank members of the public who called us to report a drink or drug driver. This intelligence is really important and helps us to keep our roads safe."

The inspector also thanked venues supporting the 'Lift Legend' campaign that saw designated drivers receive a free drink from selective pubs as a 'thank you' for getting family home safely. 

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick said: “I am pleased to see the increased operational activity as part of the Christmas drink and drug drive operation has yielded a positive result with 113 people arrested during the campaign.

"Drink and drug driving kills, and while the vast majority of road users are responsible, it is important that those who choose to take the risk and get behind the wheel while under the influence are dealt with robustly.

“I want to be clear, there is no excuse for driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs and, as demonstrated in my Police and Crime Plan, I am in full support of officers who are relentless in their work to target those who make this dangerous choice, putting themselves and others at risk.”

If you suspect someone of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please dial 999 immediately with the vehicle information and direction of travel. 
If you have information relating to someone who regularly drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, please call 101 or fill in an intelligence form on our website: