DRINK drive arrests are down 22 per cent compared with last year's tally, latest figures have revealed.

As Hampshire police begins week three of its annual campaign, officers are praising the support of the public in ensuring fewer drivers get behind the wheel after having a drink.

The constabulary have so far arrested 97 people on suspicion of drink-driving since the Christmas campaign, Smashed, launched on December 1.

The campaign focused on the aftermath of a crash in which a young Hampshire woman died while over the drink drive limit and used the wreckage of her car to get the message across.

The figure shows a 22 per cent drop in arrests during the same period in 2011.

Of those arrested, 59 were charged 30 were bailed pending further enquiries and eight were released with no further action.

The campaign will continue until January 1, 2013, and will be targeting those suspected of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, both on the way home from nights out and the morning after.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, of the Joint Operations Unit roads policing for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, said: “I would like to be able to say the decrease in arrests is down to the drink-drive message finally getting through - and I hope it is.

“A reduction is certainly encouraging as it does perhaps suggest that fewer people are taking that risk than last year. But that doesn't mean we'll be complacent. We're still arresting drink-drive suspects every day and know we'll arrest more before the year is out.