Drink drive campaign launched

POLICE have launched their drink-drive campaign - warning that offenders will face big penalties.

Operation Tonic started across North Somerset last week.

Officers 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 offenders 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.

Chief Inspector Polly King warned: “We will remain relentless in our pursuit of drink-drivers and our campaign to purge the roads of those who are willing to put the lives of themselves and others at potential risk by driving after having a drink.

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“We will remain resolute in tracking down those that flout the law by choosing to drink and drive.

“We are particularly worried about an emerging trend over the past five years for the number of people aged under 25, who have been arrested for drink-driving.

“Last winter around one third of those arrested were in the 17-25 age bracket, a trend we are keen to reverse.”

“Additionally we would advise drivers not to take the wheel if they are taking drugs – whether illegally or even prescription drugs, which advise you not to drive or operate machinery.

“Your ability to drive could be compromised, making you a danger not only to yourself but other road users.”