Drink-drive arrests

POLICE arrested more than 50 drivers in South Gloucestershire for driving under the influence of drink or drugs during a national festive crackdown.

In total, Avon and Somerset Police arrested 324 drivers during the annual Operation Tonic in December, 51 of them in South Gloucestershire and 86 in Bristol.

Numbers were 10% up on the previous year, with more than two thirds (68%) of arrests for drink-driving and the other 32% for drug-driving.

Stops were made through a combination of stop checks at fixed sites, intelligence operations, public reports of suspected drink-driving, and ‘proactive patrols’ to look for erratic drivers.

In total around 2,000 drivers were stopped during the operation, of which approximately 16% were arrested.

One driver was arrested and later banned after another motorist saw him driving erratically on the M5.

Police said four out of five drivers arrested were male.

Under-25s made up 17% of drivers arrested, with 25 to 34 year olds accounted for 30% and people aged 35-44 making 26%.

People aged between 45 and 54 made up 17% of those arrested, with over-55s accounting for the other 10%.

Assistant Chief Constable Joanne Hall said: “Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, but also a reckless and dangerous choice that puts lives at risk. The consequences of such decisions can be catastrophic, causing irreversible harm and heartache to families and loved ones.”

Police urge people to continue to report information about drink or drug-drivers, either online or via 101 – or 999 if the person involved is behind the wheel at the time.