Christmas comes early for Avon and Somerset Police

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By Trucks79 | Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 18:25

Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed that the forces Operation Tonic has once again achieved some great results, over the weekend traffic officers throughout the area arrested 37 people, taking the total to 136 since the force's Operation Tonic campaign began on Dec 1st.

The total number of vehicles stopped by the force is a staggering 7813 and the number of breath tests given is 1138. The new service that allows members of the public to report drink or drug drivers has also proved a success with fourteen text messages sent to the police using the new text number.

Police say they will be maintaining their efforts as Christmas approaches, carrying out random stop checks of vehicles and targeting known hotspots at peak times to emphasis the 'don't drink/drugs drive' message.

They are reminding people to use mobile phone texting to help them catch drink and drug drivers. They are asked to text the word drunk to 81819 and send in information about someone who has got behind the wheel under the influence. The messages arrive in the police control room and are treated in the same way as an emergency 999 call.

Chief Inspector Yannis Georgiou of Avon and Somerset's Operations and Roads Policing Unit said: "The figures show that we are determined to send out a very strong message that drink or drug drivers will be stopped and arrested and banned from the roads. Drivers must realise that there is no safe drinking limit – other than not drinking at all."

Tonic is part of the force's Operation Relentless campaign – reducing death, serious injury and crime on the roads of Avon and Somerset. Drink/drugs driving is one of the so-called 'fatal four' offences, together with speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a mobile phone while driving, that are know major causes of collisions.

Police have also warned that:

• Refusal to provide a breath specimen could lead to a six month prison sentence, a fine of up to £5000 and a 12 month ban from driving.

• Drink drivers face up to six months in prison, a fine of up to £5000 and a ban of at least 12 months.

Operation Tonic forms part of the police's Have the Christmas You Deserve campaign, which will be running throughout December. The campaign incorporates a range of activities to tackle issues related to the festive period, such as keeping your Christmas gifts safe and helping people to stay safe over the party season.

Photo By ☺ Lee J Haywood on Flickr



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