136 motorists charged in Avon & Somerset police's seasonal drink-drive crackdown

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By BeckyFeather | Saturday, January 12, 2013, 10:46

Police today revealed that across Avon & Somerset they arrested and charged 136 people during the Christmas Operation Tonic anti-drink and drugs campaign.

A total of 857 motorists were given breath tests during December.

Police say the numbers were about what they expected this year as they ran a more intelligence-led operation targeting persistent offenders and venues know for drink- and drug-driving, rather than roadside breath testing of large numbers of the public.

This resulted in a higher percentage of drivers who were stopped and breath tested being caught.

Chief Insp John Holt, of Avon and Somerset's Roads Policing Unit, said: "One drink- or drug-driver is too many, but generally we are pleased that so many motorists we tested were negative - which means they heeded all our warnings and acted legally and responsibly."

The figures for December 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013 show that 314 breath tests were given following collisions, of which 50 were positive. There were 543 tests not involving collisions, of which 86 were positive.

The number of tests taken by people aged over 25 was 556, of which 72 were positive. The number taken by people under 25 was 301, with 64 being positive.

Three drivers were tested for drug-driving, but none was positive.

The force received 20 texts from members of the public who called a special hotline number - 81819 - to report someone they suspected was drink- or drug-driving.

Chief Insp Holt said: "We take drink- and drug-driving seriously all year round, now just at Christmas, and people should know that we will continue to target and bring to justice any drivers who put themselves and others in danger."

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