Published: June 1, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea motorists warned as drink driving campaign starts

Motorists in the Burnham-On-Sea area have been warned they face long jail terms if they are caught drink driving as police launch their annual summer drink drive campaign today (Friday, June 1st).

Avon and Somerset police will be testing thousands of people across the area for drink and drug driving during the month-long Operation Tonic campaign.

Officers are also looking out for increasing numbers of motorists who tweet, phone or use other social media while driving – all offences that could attract driving bans.

Chief Inspector Yannis Georgiou, of Avon and Somerset's Roads Policing Unit, told "Drink and drug driving is totally unacceptable and is a serious crime. We work to tackle drink and drug driving all year round, not just in our summer and Christmas campaigns."

"If you drink alcohol or take drugs and drive, you put yourself, your loved ones and other road users at risk."

Police are asking people to use their mobile phone to report drink or drug drivers by texting the word 'drunk' to 81819 and then sending in information about someone who has got behind the wheel when they are under influence of drink or drugs. The messages go straight to the police communications centre, where they are dealt with in the same way as an emergency 999 call.

The current legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, or 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, or 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine. At twice the legal limit, you are at least 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than a driver who hasn't been drinking. At twice the legal limit, you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash.

If you suspect that someone is drinking alcohol and driving or taking drugs and driving, you can also report it to police if the crime is in progress by calling 999, or by callling 101, the 24-hour police non-emergency number or contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


All drivers who provide a positive breath test or face a field impairment test to determine whether they have been using drugs, refuse to provide or fail to provide, face losing their licence for at least 12 months.

If you are convicted for a drink or drug drive offence, drivers will:

• Will lose your licence for a minimum of one year.
• Will have a criminal record.
• May go to prison for up to six months.
• May have to pay a fine of up to £5,000.
• May lose your job (15 per cent of those convicted do).
• Face very high insurance costs once you get your licence back.
• Will have difficulty hiring a car within ten years of your conviction.

If you are convicted twice in ten years, you face a three-year driving ban. To get your licence back, you may also have to convince a doctor that you do not have a drink problem.

If you are convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, drivers face:

• Up to 14 years in prison.
• An unlimited fine.
• A minimum two-year driving ban.
• A mandatory extended driving test.


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