Police launch drink drive campaign ahead of Christmas season

First published in News by

MOTORISTS caught drink or drug driving will face a miserable Christmas and an extremely unhappy New Year.

As part of Operation Tonic Christmas, Avon and Somerset Police is calling on members of the public to be its eyes and ears during the holidays by ringing 999 or texting the word drunk to 81819 if they notice anyone getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

The campaign will run until January 1, 2013.

Chief Inspector John Holt, of the operations and roads policing unit, said: "Drink and drug driving is totally unacceptable and is a serious crime. "Most people regard it as socially and morally wrong and I’m sure they fully support our all-year-round campaign to make the roads of Avon and Somerset safer for all."

Police introduced a text hotline last year and many in the region made use of the new system to get in touch with officers. This Christmas the 81819 number will be promoted on posters and beer mats.

Chief Insp Holt added: "We want everyone to have a happy, safe and crime-free Christmas. People should remember there is no safe drinking limit – other than not drinking at all."

Last Christmas 231 people gave positive breath or drugs tests – with a total of 13 for drugs. A total of 11,984 vehicles were stopped and drink/drug driving advice was given by officers. Of those stopped, 1,771 were given breath or drugs tests. Just over 50 text messages were received giving information about drink or drugs drivers.

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