Operation Tonic Christmas drink-driving campaign launched

breath testAvon and Somerset Police’s annual Christmas drink-driving campaign starts today with ‘morning after’ drivers particularly in the spotlight.

On the 50th anniversary of the first nationwide public information film on drinking and driving, Operation Tonic will run throughout December and into the New Year, aiming to help reduce deaths, serious injuries and crime on the roads by tackling drink and drug driving.

Police activity during the month will include vehicle stop-check operations, targeted patrols and awareness-raising at events and in pubs and bars.

Police urge anyone who has concerns about someone they believe may be drink or drug driving to call them on 101 or text the word ‘drunk’ and as many details as they can to 81819.

Road Safety Superintendent Richard Corrigan said: “This year we will be extending our visible presence to the morning period as lots of intelligence indicates that people drive the morning after drinking heavily the night before.

“If you have several drinks on a night out you can’t simply assume you will be safe to drive the next day.

“We will be carrying out stop checks throughout the month and New Year and will arrest any drivers who are suspected to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Two hundred and thirty road deaths in Britain last year were directly linked to drink-driving. A recent survey states that 91% of the public agreed that drinking and driving was unacceptable and 92% of people said they would feel ashamed if they were caught drinking and driving.

“Operation Tonic is designed to support our work in making all of our roads safer.”

During the summer campaign in Avon and Somerset, 158 people were arrested on suspicion of drink/drug-driving, most between 7pm-6am. But seven were made between 6am-9am and 17 between 9am-7pm.

Supt Corrigan said: “If you are out in the evening enjoying a few drinks, make sure you have arrangements in place for getting home, such as a taxi or a lift with friends, and ensure you leave plenty of time for the alcohol to leave your system if you are driving the next day.”