Published: December 21, 2013
Dozens arrested by police in crackdown on Christmas drink driving

More than 70 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.

Over the past 20 days, officers have arrested 19 people in West Somerset, which includes Burnham-On-Sea, while 22 people have been arrested in Bristol, 10 people have been held in North Somerset, 10 in East Somerset, five in South Gloucestershire and five in Bath and North East Somerset.

Many of the arrests have been as a result of information received directly from the public. Stop checks carried out in the evening and early mornings have also led to arrests.

Chief Inspector Yan Georgiou said: "I am grateful for all the information that has been supplied by the public to date. The role of local people is extremely important in helping us to crack down on anyone getting behind the wheel of a car when they have been drinking or taking drugs and posing a serious threat to other road users."

"We would urge anyone who has concerns about someone they believe may be drink or drug driving to call us on 999 or text the word drunk and as many details as they can to 81819."


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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