Published: June 1, 2013
Burnham-On-Sea motorists warned as drink driving campaign starts

Motorists in the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week been warned they risk long jail terms if they are caught drink driving as the police's annual summer drink drive campaign launches.

Officers will be stopping hundreds of people across the area to check for drink and drug driving during the month-long 'Operation Tonic' campaign, which started last night (Friday).

Chief Inspector Yannis Georgiou, of Avon and Somerset Police's Roads Policing Unit, told "Drink and drug driving is totally unacceptable and is a serious crime. If you drink alcohol or take drugs and drive, you put yourself, your loved ones and other road users at risk."

"Fourteen young drivers have been killed in collisions since 2011 in the force area and we are determined to do what we can to reduce those numbers. We're not aiming to spoil people's fun, but it's important that the anti-social driving habits of a minority don't create problems for other members of the public."

As well as people who drink or take drugs and drive, 'boy racers' who behave anti-socially are being targeted in the campaign.

"Warm weather and light evenings bring an increase in the number of anti-social behaviour complaints about young drivers gathering in large numbers for so-called car cruises. Officers will be engaging with drivers at those events, checking that vehicles are safe and legal, and encouraging good driving habits."

If you suspect that someone is drinking alcohol and driving or taking drugs and driving, you can 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 calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Mobile phone users can also report drink or drug drivers by texting the word 'drunk' to 81819 and then sending information about the person who has got behind the wheel.


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 a driver is convicted for a drink or drug drive offence, they 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 they get their licence back.
• Will have difficulty hiring a car within 10 years of the 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.


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