December 1, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea Police start Christmas drink drive campaign today

Burnham-On-Sea Police are launching their annual Christmas drink and drug drive campaign today (Thursday).

Operation Tonic, which will run until January 1st, 2017, will involve high visibility and covert patrols aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers across Somerset.

As part of the campaign, Police are calling on members of the public to shop a drink or drug driver by ringing 999 if it is happening now or texting the word 'drunk' with brief details of the car, location and driver to 81819 if it is not someone currently driving.

By targeting drink and drug driving, Police aim to help reduce deaths, serious injuries and crime on the roads of the Avon and Somerset force area.

Head of Road Safety at Avon and Somerset police, Chief Inspector Kevan Rowlands, told "Our message is very simple; if you get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs, you are risking your life and the lives of those around you."

"Each year we are disappointed to see the number of people who are still willing to take that risk. Even one driver caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs is one too many."

"Our aim is to work with our partners to educate people about the dangers and consequences of drink and drug driving and to send out a strong message that to do so is morally and socially unacceptable."

"It is not just us who can help make a difference. We are asking the public to help by calling 999 if they see someone who they believe is driving while over the limit, or providing information by texting us on 81819 starting the text with the word 'Drunk'."

Drink and drug driving is one of the 'fatal four' offences, together with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving, that are known to cause the majority of deaths on roads.

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 an unlimited fine.
• 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.


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