Published:
January 10, 2017
Police charged 116 drivers with drink and drug driving over Christmas

A total of 117 drivers across the police force area were charged with drink and drug driving during this year’s Christmas crackdown.

The annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaign ran from December 1st, 2016 through to January 1st, 2017 and saw 184 people arrested and 117 charged.

This was an increase from 155 arrests and 96 people charged in 2015.

It follows an overwhelming response from the public during the campaign with 634 calls being made to us from people with concerns about drivers. As a direct result of these calls alone, Police arrested 52 people.

All people charged undergo risk assessments to ensure that those who are considered to be vulnerable would not be placed under increased pressure by being named.

Head of Road Safety at Avon and Somerset police, Chief Inspector Kevan Rowlands, said: "Although it’s disappointing that more than 100 drivers have been charged with serious offences, I am thrilled with the response from the public."

"The number of calls we had from the public to report people who they believe are driving under the influence of drink or drugs has been fantastic and a real highlight of the operation. That has had a significant impact on our ability to catch and arrest offenders."

"It is clear to me that the vast majority of people see the danger caused by drink and drug drivers and are willing to do something about it by reporting offenders to the police."

"We’ve reviewed all the arrests and many are not related to the party season which means our message about not driving after a night out seems to be getting through."

"What we have noticed during Operation Tonic is that a significant number of the people we have arrested appear to have some form of alcohol or drug dependency and are not recreational drinkers."

"If you have a friend or relative that fits this category then please reach out to them and get them to stop driving. If they don’t then, for their sake and the safety of others, you need to report them through the contact section on our website www.avonandsomerset.police.uk or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800555111 or crimestoppers-uk.org.uk."

 

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