Police antii drink drive campaign launches today
By thepickler | Wednesday, June 01, 2011, 16:02
POLICE are planning to put the heat on drink and drug drivers during Avon and Somerset Police's summer month-long Operation Tonic campaign that started today, June 1.
They're promising to stage high-visibility stop checks on roads across Avon and Somerset, catching offenders and sending out a strong message to anyone temped to risk driving under the influence – DON'T DO IT.
Chief Inspector John Holt, of Operations and Traffic Management at HQ, said: "We take drink and drug-driving extremely seriously all year round, but a summer campaign is a timely way of focusing people's minds on the dangers and consequences of getting behind the wheel when they shouldn't.
"With warmer weather and lighter nights, it's natural that everyone is out enjoying the sunshine, having barbecues at home or relaxing in beer gardens.
"We don't want to spoil anyone's fun, but the aim of Operation Tonic is to make our roads safer and ultimately to save lives.
"We will not tolerate drink or drug driving in Avon and Somerset and will be cracking down on those that do so. Our message is clear – if you do drink or drug-drive this summer, you can expect to be caught and punished."
As well as stop checks, officers will also undertake breath tests on every driver who is involved in a collision – irrespective of whether they are suspected of drink driving or not.
The campaign will also target drug-drivers. Field Impairment Tests will be carried out on any driver suspected of being under the influence of illegal drugs.
In last summer's Operation Tonic, 141 motorists were arrested. Officers carried out almost 30,000 stop checks in June and breathalysed almost 2,000 drivers.
• 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.
• Anyone causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink/drugs could be imprisoned for up to 10 years and banned from driving for up to two years.
• Convicted drink/drug drivers will have a criminal record.
• Convicted drink/drug drivers banned from driving for 12 months or more could lose their jobs.
• Convicted drivers could find it difficult to find car insurance and face problems hiring a car for the next 10 years.