Police crackdown leads to 146 drink driving arrests

PUBLISHED: 12:35 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:35 12 January 2018

Officers arrested 146 people for drink and drug driving over the festive period.

Officers arrested 146 people for drink and drug driving over the festive period.

Archant

Avon and Somerset police arrested 146 people for drink and drug driving offences during a crackdown over Christmas and new year.

Officers carried out high visibility and cover patrols across the force area in an attempt to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads.

Operation Tonic led to 78 offenders being charged and 40 people have been released under investigation.

Supt Andy Williams, head of road safety for Avon and Somerset Constabulary, said: “Drink/drug driving is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which cause the majority of deaths on our roads.

“The people arrested in the run-up to Christmas chose to drive while intoxicated and were acting in an incredibly selfish and reckless manner.

“Those driving under the influence not only risk arrest but more crucially, their own lives and the lives of others.

“Unlike previous years there has been no strong common link or emerging ‘trend’ in drivers arrested.

“The vast majority of those arrested were over 30 years old and this could be a product of our work with young people in ensuring next generation stay safe on the road.

“We always promote education over prosecution where possible and use a combination of these to tackle drink driving.”

The number of people arrested this year has dropped from 184 last year when 117 people were charged.

Police received more than 340 tip-offs from the public, who were asked to call or text in with information about intoxicated drivers.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “The police are committed to keeping the roads of Avon and Somerset safe for all that use them.

“Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is not only a crime, it is socially and morally unacceptable, and I believe the majority of law-abiding people support the police in doing all we can to bring offenders to justice.”

People are still encouraged to tell the police if someone drives while drunk or drugged by calling 999 if they are driving at the time, or 101 in less urgent cases.

Reports can also be made via email to drinkdrive@avonandsomerset.police.uk or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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