How you can help police to tackle ‘devastating’ drink-drive danger

PUBLISHED: 09:55 02 December 2017

Police have carried out more than 2,500 breathlyser tests over the past two Decembers.

Police have carried out more than 2,500 breathlyser tests over the past two Decembers.

Archant

The number of drink-driving arrests across Avon and Somerset has risen in each of the past three Christmases – and police now want YOU to help them clamp down on the ‘morally unacceptable’ crime.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary this week launched its annual Operation Tonic, which targets those who get behind the wheel while drunk or after taking drugs.

Officers will be run a mixture of high-visibility patrols and covert operations throughout December to help tackle North Somerset’s drink-drivers.

But another key tool will be public intelligence – with the force urging people to report drivers who flout the law.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “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.

“The arrests we made last December weren’t the ‘Christmas party people’ we were expecting and many people we arrested had substance abuse issues.

“That’s why we’re asking friends or family of people who might use alcohol or drugs as a way to cope, and are at risk of driving while under the influence, to talk to them about the risks.

“If this approach doesn’t work and you are concerned about someone driving under the influence and causing danger to themselves and others, please tell us before someone is seriously injured or killed.”

Operation Tonic has seen 
more than 2,500 breathalysed over the past two Christmases, and hundreds subsequently charged.

Worryingly, the number of people charged continues to rise, from 59 in December 2014, to 96 in 2015 and 117 in 2016.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is not only a crime, it is socially and morally unacceptable and can have devastating consequences. Don’t gamble with your ability to drive, it’s not worth the risk.

“The police are committed to keeping the roads safe for all that use them. I believe the majority of law-abiding people support the police in doing all we can to bring offenders to justice.”

To report a drink-driver, call 999 if the incident is current, or text the word ‘drunk’ with brief details of the car, location and driver to 07400 249101 if the person is not currently driving.

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