New Year blitz continues on drink-drive crime

December 22 2014

AVON and Somerset police’s annual Christmas drink driving campaign continues into the New Year with ‘morning after’ drivers particularly in the spotlight.

AVON and Somerset police’s annual Christmas drink driving campaign continues into the New Year with ‘morning after’ drivers particularly in the spotlight.

On the 50th anniversary of the first nationwide public information film on drinking and driving, Operation Tonic aims to help reduce deaths, serious injuries and crime on the roads by tackling drink and drug driving.

Police activity during the campaign includes vehicle stop-check operations, targeted patrols and raising awareness at events and in pubs and bars.

Police are urging anyone who has concerns about someone they believe may be drink or drug driving to call them on 101 or text the word drunk and as many details as they can to 81819.

Road Safety Supt Richard Corrigan said stop checks will continue into the New Year and police will arrest any drivers who are suspected to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs: “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.

"Two hundred and thirty road deaths in Britain last year were directly linked to drink driving. A recent survey states that 91 per cent of the public agreed that drinking and driving was unacceptable and 92 per cent 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 1700 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.”

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

Supt Corrigan said: “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 incorporated a number of activities to tackle issues related to the festive period.