Avon and Somerset Police are launching their annual Christmas drink and drug drive campaign today (Thursday 1 December).
Operation Tonic, which will run until January 1, 2017, will involve high visibility and covert patrols aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers.
As part of the campaign, police are calling on members of the public to shop a drink or drug driver by ringing 999 if it is happening now or texting the word ‘drunk’ with brief details of the car, location and driver to 81819, if it is not someone currently driving.
By targeting drink and drug driving, police aim to help reduce deaths, serious injuries and crime on the roads of the Avon and Somerset force area.
Drink/drugs driving is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences, together with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving, that are known to cause the majority of deaths on our roads.
Last December saw 155 arrests and 96 people charged. The folllowing December saw 106 arrests and 59 people charged. Over 1,430 people were breathalysed last year.
Head of Road Safety at Avon and Somerset police, Chief Inspector Kevan Rowlands said:
“Our message is very simple; if you get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs, you are risking your life and the lives of those around you.
Each year we are disappointed to see the number of people who are still willing to take that risk. Even one driver caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs is one too many.
Our aim is to work with our partners to educate people about the dangers and consequences of drink and drug driving and to send out a strong message that to do so is morally and socially unacceptable.
It is not just us who can help make a difference. We are asking the public to help by calling 999 if they see someone who they believe is driving while over the limit, or providing information by texting us on 81819 starting the text with the word ‘Drunk’”.
For more information on the campaign or general road safety advice visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk