Today sees the launch of Operation Tonic, Avon & Somerset police’s annual summer campaign to make the roads safer.
As they did over Christmas and the New Year, police will be naming publicly every motorist charged with a drink or drug-driving offence during the month-long campaign.
And for the first time traffic cops will be using ‘drugalyser’ devices at the roadside to test drivers for suspected drugs, including cannabis and cocaine, using new laws that came in earlier this year.
Drug-drivers could face an unlimited fine, up to six months in prison, a minimum one-year driving ban and a criminal record. Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug-driving for 11 years.
Road Safety Superintendent Richard Corrigan said: “We are determined to do whatever we can to stop people driving while under the influence of drink or drugs. If just one collision or death is prevented, then our campaign will be a success.
“For the first time in our Christmas 2014 campaign we decided to name those charged. The results showed that this measure acted as a clear deterrent to people taking a chance on driving while under the influence.
“This summer we also have extra powers and the tools to check for illegal drugs at the roadside. The message is clearer than ever – there is no excuse and we will arrest any drivers who are suspected to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.”
Police & Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Over the summer, many of us will be having fun, hosting gatherings and socialising with family and friends. Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is not only a crime, it is socially and morally unacceptable and can have devastating consequences.”
Police urge anyone who has concerns about someone they believe may be drink or drug driving to call us on 101, or to text the word DRUNK and as many details as they can, such as vehicle details and direction of travel, to 81819.