Published: December 31, 2013
120 arrested in police crackdown on Christmas drink driving

A total of 120 people have been arrested across the Avon and Somerset police area since the start of this year's Christmas drink drive crackdown.

Operation Tonic, the force's anti drink and drug driving campaign, aims to target motorists who put their own lives and those of people around them at risk by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Between December 1st and 30th there have been 120 arrests for drink/drug driving offences. In the period December 1st - 23rd, there were 93 arrests, followed by four arrests on Christmas Eve. There were a further four arrests on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Between Friday and Monday a further 13 arrests were made.

Of the 120 arrested since the beginning of the month, 71 have been charged and bailed to appear in court.

Drivers caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs risk a fine of up to £5000, a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, could end up behind bars and could then find difficulty finding insurance in the future or could lose their job.

In 2011 in Avon and Somerset 231 drivers were arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while 7000 drivers were arrested nationally. Last year 136 people were charged with during the Operation Tonic anti drink and drugs campaign.

The operation has this year been targeting motorists who put their own lives and those of people around them at risk by driving while under the influence of drink or drugs. High visibility stop check operations and intelligence-led patrols have formed part of the festive operation.

When vehicles are stopped they are also checked for road worthiness and checks made if they trigger the automatic number plate recognition system. Advice is provided by officers to those drivers who are not over the limit.

"The message to drivers is not to drink if you are driving – leave your car at home. If you do intend to go out and drink, walk to the venue, use a taxi, public transport or nominate a non-drinking driver."

"We would encourage anyone who has concerns about someone they believe may be drink driving to call us on 999 or text the word drunk and details to 81819," said a spokesman.

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