Grand prize for offenders

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 December 2010

Archant

POLICE are offering drink-drivers a gift-wrapped seasonal surprise comprising all-expenses-paid accommodation for the Christmas or New Year period, food and travel to the venue thrown in as part of the festive package.

After a trip in a patrol car to their ‘luxury’ police cell the lucky recipient will be in line to win for themselves a criminal record, lose the right to drive for at least 12 months, may lose their job, will find it increasingly difficult to find car insurance and could also face problems hiring a car for a period of up to 10 years.

Officers this week launched their Christmas drink-drive campaign,

Police have warned that refusal to provide a breath specimen could lead to a six month prison sentence, a fine of up to £5,000 and a 12 month ban from driving, that drink drivers face up to six months in prison, a fine of up to £5,000 and a ban of at least 12 months and that anyone causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink, could be imprisoned for up to 10 years and banned for up to two years.

Over the past eight years almost 2,000 drivers have been arrested and tested positive and subsequently lost their licences as part of Avon and Somerset police’s Operation Tonic.

Since 2002 there has been gradual fall in the number of drivers arrested for drink driving, reducing from a peak of 329 to 207 12 months ago.

During the past eight years up to 100,000 vehicles have been stopped by police officers as part of Operation Tonic.

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