December 1, 2014
Crackdown on Christmas drink driving starts in Burnham area today

Burnham-On-Sea Police have today (Monday) launched a Christmas campaign to crack down on drink-related crime over the festive period.

Avon and Somerset Police’s festive drink campaign gets underway today with 'morning after' drivers particularly in the spotlight.

Operation Tonic will run throughout December and into the New Year, aiming to help reduce deaths, serious injuries and crime on local roads by tackling drink and drug driving.

Police activity during the month in the Burnham area will include vehicle stop-check operations, targeted patrols and awareness-raising at events and in pubs and bars.


If a driver is convicted for a drink or drug drive offence, they:

• Lose their 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 their job (15 per cent do).
• Face very high insurance costs in future.
• Will have difficulty hiring a car within 10 years.

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

If a driver is 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.

Road Safety Superintendent Richard Corrigan said: "This year we will be extending our visible presence to the morning period as lots of intelligence indicates that people drive the morning after drinking heavily the night before."

"If you have several drinks on a night out you can’t simply assume you will be safe to drive the next day."

"We will be carrying out stop checks throughout the month and New Year and will arrest any drivers who are suspected to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs."

"Two hundred and thirty road deaths in Britain last year were directly linked to drink driving. A recent survey states that 91% of the public agreed that drinking and driving was unacceptable and 92% of people said they would feel ashamed if they were caught drinking and driving."

"Operation Tonic is designed to support our work in making all of our roads safer. Death and serious injury on our roads remains a significant concern with over 1,700 people killed in Britain last year. We know that there are four major reasons which contribute to these tragic numbers - drink and drug driving, excessive speed, using a mobile phone while driving and failing to wear a seatbelt."

"The annual Christmas drink driving campaign supports our work in these areas with visible policing, media coverage and education."

Police are also urging anyone with concerns about someone they believe may be drink or drug driving to call them on 101 or by texting the word drunk and as many details to 81819.

During the summer campaign in Avon and Somerset, 158 people were arrested on suspicion of drink/drugs driving, mostly between 7pm-6am. Seven were made between 6am-9am and 17 between 9am-7pm.

Supt Corrigan added: "If you are out in the evening enjoying a few drinks, make sure you have arrangements in place for getting home, such as a taxi or a lift with friends, and ensure you leave plenty of time for the alcohol to leave your system if you are driving the next day."

"Drinking and driving can lead to collisions and cause serious injury or death and we will look to prosecute anyone found to be over the legal limit. The message is simple - don’t drink and drive."

Operation Tonic forms part of the police's 'Have the Christmas You Deserve' campaign, which will be running throughout December. The campaign incorporates a number of activities to tackle issues related to the festive period, such as keeping Christmas gifts safe and helping people to stay safe.

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