Dozens arrested as part of festive drink-drive crackdown
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 December 2019
Felipe Caparrós Cruz
The police's annual drink-drive crackdown has seen dozens of intoxicated offenders arrested.
So far this month, 89 people have been arrested in connection with drink or drug driving as part of Operation Tonic, which sees officers remind people of the fatal consequences of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Last year, police received more than 392 tip-offs from members of the public, who offered information about intoxicated drivers.
Officers were then able to respond to three quarters of the tip off calls, leading to 146 arrests and 78 people being charged with drink and drug driving offences.
Supt Claire Armes said: "This year there have been nine fatal road traffic collisions across Avon and Somerset linked to drink or drug driving. This is a worrying statistic and shows that the message is still not getting through. The tragic consequences of risking drink or drug driving are clear for all to see.
"Visiting a family to tell them their loved one has died or has been taken to hospital in a critical condition is perhaps the most difficult message we have to give.
"It is horrendous to deliver this message at any time of the year, and it's certainly not the message we want to deliver this Christmas.
"Our message is simple, don't take the risk - it's not worth it. The worst-case scenario is that you are responsible for killing someone, ruining the lives of dozens of that person's friends and family and a lengthy prison term to contemplate your actions."
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Over the festive period, many of us will be having fun celebrating with friends and family. But remember, driving under the influence of drink or drugs is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences.
"Even being 'slightly' over the limit will still land you with a penalty if you're caught and it's really not worth the risk."
A police spoksman added: "Members of the public can help support us by reporting anyone who is suspected of drink or drug driving.
"If they know about someone who is currently driving under the influence then they should call 999 or in less urgent cases call 101 or report it online at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/OpTonic"