Police target drink and drug drivers - via text

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 May 2012

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A POLICE campaign to clamp down on dangerous motorists will once again ask residents to tip-off officers about drink and drug drivers.

The Operation Tonic campaign, which starts on June 1, will also see officers on the lookout for drivers who text, tweet or phone people while driving – offences which could see motorists banned from getting behind the wheel.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary is asking residents to act as whistle-blowers on dangerous motorists, reporting them via text messages.

The scheme sees people text the word ‘drunk’ to 81819 to tell police about someone who has got behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs.

The messages go straight through to the force’s communications centre and dealt with as if they were 999 calls.

The text service was previously open during the Christmas and New Year period, when the force received a total of 50 texts about dangerous drivers.

Chief Insp 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.

“We were really encouraged by the number of people who called in, and the numbers who supported us over the Christmas period.

“Our message remains the same – don’t drink and drive. But we would also like to take this opportunity to praise the majority of drivers in Avon and Somerset who listen to Operation Tonic advice to leave the car behind if they intend to drink.”


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