A month-long crackdown on drink and drug driving begins on Thursday June 1 as Hampshire and Thames Valley police join forces.

Each June, Hampshire Police and Thames Valley Police unite their roads policing units for targeted operations at all times of the day and night to deter dangerous drivers.

These operations will run across Hampshire and Buckinghamshire until Friday, June 30 in support of the National Police Chief Council’s anti-drink drive campaign.

The campaign’s message to motorists is that drink and drug driving is a fatal combination that makes impaired drivers 23 times more likely to kill themselves or someone else.

Despite a reduction in drink-driving over the past 50 years, figures show a six-fold increase in drug-driving since March 2015.

This was when the law changed, by introducing roadside tests to make it easier for police to catch and convict drug-drivers.

Superintendent Simon Dodds, of the joint roads policing operations unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: “Too many people are still taking the risk.

“It’s simply not worth the devastation that is all too often left behind.

“These people not only put themselves at risk, but others who are often innocently going about their daily lives.

“That’s why extra patrols will be out over the next month carrying out a number of proactive breath and drug tests.

“Those caught driving while impaired by drink or drugs could face a criminal conviction, possible prison term, driving ban and could even lose their job.”

Combined figures for the two police forces show that, every year, 140 people are killed or seriously injured on local roads as a result of alcohol.

According to the figures, 11% of all road fatalities within the catchment areas of the two forces involved a drink driver while 6% involved drugs as a “contributory factor”.

Most drink-driving offences occur between 7pm and 7am.

Four in five (80%) drink drivers are men and men in their mid-20s are most likely to refuse or fail a breathe test.

Officers urge people not to drink if they are driving home, or plan ahead with a taxi.

The website www.morning-after.org.uk gives a rough idea of when someone might be safe to drive after a night out drinking.

It advises that someone who drinks four pints of lager may not be safe to drive for up to 13 hours.

Sergeant Rob Heard, road safety sergeant for Hampshire Police, said: “Alcohol stays in your system for some time, especially if you’ve been drinking heavily.

“Just because you haven’t had a drink for a few hours, it doesn’t mean the alcohol has left your system and you can drive home. You are still likely to be over the limit."

Residents are encouraged to report anyone they suspect of drink or drug driving by calling 101 or sending a text message to 80999 with details of the car, registration and location.

Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.