50 arrests made in SIX DAYS after launch of Christmas drink-driving campaign

Drink driver.

Drink driver. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police have arrested 50 drivers suspected of drink and drug driving - just DAYS since the start of the Christmas clampdown.

Avon and Somerset Police officers are taking part in the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Winter Drink and Drug Driving Operation, the largest operation in recent years, employing roadside tests and using information from the public to target known and repeat offenders. 

And since the start of the operation, on December 1, 50 arrests for drink and drug driving offences have been made - up from 32 in the equivalent period last year, when a total of 229 people were arrested during the annual campaign and up from 26 in the equivalent period in 2019, which saw 221 arrests across the month. 

Inspector Andy Barry, from the Roads Policing Unit, said: “This has been a challenging year and we want people to be able to enjoy and celebrate Christmas, but driving under the influence of drink or drugs is never acceptable and we will not hesitate to use our powers to take motorists and their vehicles off the road.

“We are stepping up activity in the run-up to Christmas with the aim of reducing fatal and serious injury road traffic collisions and protecting other road users. If you choose to drink and drive there is a high chance of being caught by our officers. 

“Tell us if you suspect drink/drug driving is happening. You information will help us make targeted arrests and inform our patrols. Together we can get dangerous and irresponsible drivers off of the roads this Christmas.” 

Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit. Anyone who causes a death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment. 

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Reports of drink driving can be made online, by calling 101,  or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If someone is currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs, call 999. 

The Winter Drink and Drug Driving Operation runs until January 1, 2022.