January 7, 2018
Police arrested 146 people for drink and drug driving over Christmas

A total of 146 people were arrested for drink and drug driving this Christmas as part of local Police's crackdown across the region.

The 'Operation Tonic' road safety campaign saw 78 people charged and a further 40 released under investigation.

The highest reading recorded during the campaign was 151 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 ml of breath which is nearly four times over the legal limit.

Operation Tonic ran throughout December and involved high-visibility and covert patrols - including some in the Burnham-On-Sea area - aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers throughout the festive period.

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

.Operation Tonic in numbers
December 2017: 146 arrests + 78 people charged (and 40 under investigation)
December 2016: 184 arrests + 117 people charged
December 2015: 155 arrests + 96 people charged
December 2014: 106 arrests + 59 people charged

Supt Andy Williams, Head of Road Safety in Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: "Drink/drug driving is one of the ‘fatal four' offences which cause the majority of deaths on our roads. The people arrested during in the run up to Christmas chose to drive whilst intoxicated and were acting in an incredibly selfish and reckless manner. Those driving under the influence not only risk arrest but more crucially, their own lives and the lives of others."

"Unlike previous years there has been no strong common link or emerging ‘trend’ in drivers arrested. The vast majority of those arrested were over 30 years old and this could be a product of our work with young people in ensuring next generation stay safe on the road. We always promote education over prosecution where possible and use a combination of these to tackle drink driving."

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens added: "The police are committed to keeping the roads of Avon and Somerset safe for all that use them. Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is not only a crime, it is socially and morally unacceptable, and I believe the majority of law-abiding people support the police in doing all we can to bring offenders to justice."

Avon and Somerset Police received over 340 tip offs from members of the public who were asked to call or text with information about intoxicated drivers. This positive response shows the local public understand the impact of this behaviour and their willingness to help us bring people to justice.

Police were then able to respond to three quarters of tip off calls made to us and all other information received was fed into future investigations and intelligence for ongoing road safety management.

Although the Op Tonic campaign is now over, people are still encouraged to tell the police if someone drives while drunk or drugged, before someone gets hurt. Dial 999 if you know someone is driving now whilst drunk or under the influence of drugs. In less urgent cases you can talk to us by dialling 101, contacting us through our website or by emailing . If you want to report anonymously please use Crimestoppers on 0800555111.


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