110 people arrested in Christmas crackdown on drivers under the influence

By Laura Linham

8th Dec 2022 | Local News

Police have so far made 110 arrests as part of a winter crackdown on drink and drug drivers across the Avon and Somerset force area as part of Operation Tonic.

The yearly operation sees officers carrying out high-visibility roadside checks, alongside intelligence-led targeted interventions to reduce the risk drink and drug drivers pose on the roads of Avon and Somerset.

Following the latest figures, a force spokesperson said: "The risk posed by drink/drug drivers is significant and our work will continue. There is no safe way to drink or drug drive."

Members of the public are also being asked to report drink and drug drivers.

Before contacting the police, make sure you have as many of the following details as possible:

  • Person's name and address;
  • Car model and registration;
  • What the person has drunk or what drugs you believe the person has taken.

You can anonymously report a suspected drink/drugs driver by calling 101 or online via the form on the Avon and Somerset Police website.

If you believe someone is currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs, call 999 immediately.

What happens if I am caught drink or drug driving?

If you are caught drink or drug driving, you will be disqualified. You will also receive a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, and a fine of up to £5,000.

If you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving

You will be asked to provide a sample of breath at the roadside. If you fail this test, you will be arrested and taken to the police station where you will need to provide two further breath samples.

It is a criminal offence to refuse to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for the purposes of analysis.

If you are stopped on suspicion of drug driving

Officers can assess whether you have taken drugs by asking you to comply with a preliminary roadside drug test or through evidence of impairment.

Should you provide a positive result on a roadside drug wipe, or we have evidence of impairment at the time of driving, you will be arrested.

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