A forcewide anti-drink-drive campaign began on December 1 and so far 69 people have been arrested for drink driving – eight of them in the West Somerset policing area.
More than one-in-five of the arrested drivers was aged under 25 years.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary road policing unit head, Supt Andy Pullan, said: “These young people will start the New Year without a driving licence and with a criminal record.
“They could also be fined up to £5,000, be imprisoned, lose their jobs, and the endorsement will stay on their licence for 11 years.”
Police officers have been carrying out high visibility road-side checks across known drink-drive hotspots throughout the force area and taking the opportunity to provide law-abiding motorists with some car crime prevention advice.
It is estimated that police will stop more than 10,000 motorists by the end of the festive period.
The crackdown is part of a nationwide initiative led by the Association of Chief Police Officers throughout the month of December.
However, Supt Pullan said although there was a focused campaign at this time of the year, the drink-drive message applied on all 365 days of the year.
Supt Pullan said: “Of course, it is recognised that over the festive period there is a greater risk, which is why we are putting extra resources in place throughout the next six weeks.
“But it will not stop there and our efforts will continue throughout the year.”
Anybody with information about drink-drivers should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where they do not have to give their name and could receive a reward.
In urgent cases where it is suspected somebody is driving or about to drive while drunk and thereby putting life at risk, people should dial 999.
- Our photograph shows a motorist being stopped and spoken to by a police officer. Photo submitted.