Drink-driving prosecutions on the rise as motoring offences fall

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 June 2012

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse

Archant

FEWER drivers have been sent to court for motoring offences in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area – but drink and drug-driving are on the rise.

Figures released by the Ministry of Justice show the number of motorists in the dock in the force’s area, which includes North Somerset and Somerset, has fallen year-on-year, down from 28,545 to 27,865 from 2010-2011.

But the number of cases sent to Magistrates Courts relating to driving after drinking or taking drugs has slightly increased, by 3.9 per cent, from 1,617 to 1,681.

Dangerous driving offences have remained level, at 130 offences, while causing death or bodily harm has dropped from 24 to 17.

Careless driving has also reduced from 1,150 cases to 1,041 – a drop of 9.5 per cent – while vehicle insurance offences have plummeted from 3,331 to 2,683, a drop of 14 per cent.

Speed limit offences have increased, from 7,215 to 7,749, but on the whole the number of cases sent to court has decreased by 2.3 per cent.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary have arrested 65 people so far on suspicion of drink or drugs driving during this month’s Operation Tonic campaign.

Since June 1, officers have stopped more than 300 drivers across the force’s area.

Chief Superintendent Julian Moss, North Somerset District Commander, said: “Operation Tonic will continue throughout the summer months so people who are considering drinking and driving should think very carefully. Additionally the police have some extremely high tech equipment at their disposal which enables us to catch criminals much more effectively. One of these is ANPR (Automated Number Plate Recognition) which can scan thousands of number plates per hour and detect people who have committed all manner of crimes in an instant.”

Chief Inspector Yannis Georgiou, of Avon and Somerset’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Drink and drug driving is totally unacceptable and is a serious crime. We work to tackle drink and drug-driving all year round, not just in our summer and Christmas campaigns.

“If you drink alcohol or take drugs and drive, you put yourself, your loved ones and other road users at risk.”

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