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PCC Mark Shelford Applauds Police Operation that catches 324 drink and drug drivers 

The PCC Mark Shelford has congratulated the Avon and Somerset Police on their work towards the end of last year on disrupting and arresting drink and drug drivers.

They arrested 324 drivers for driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs as part of a national policing operation, aimed at reducing fatal and serious Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) and protecting other road users, which ran during the month of December.

This was a 10 per cent increase on the number of arrests made during the same period in 2022. Drink driving accounted for 68 per cent of the offences, and drug driving for 32 per cent.

Through a combination of stop check sites, intelligence, public reports, and proactive patrols there were in the region of 2000 drivers stopped during the operation.

Community intelligence also formed a key part of their strategy to target dangerous drivers. They encouraged the public to contact the police if they suspected an individual was driving while intoxicated.

One such report was received from a 999 call on Sunday 3 December, after a concerned motorist witnessed a vehicle being driven erratically on the M5 near junction 25. After officers located and stopped the vehicle, the driver was breathalysed, arrested and subsequently charged with driving a motor vehicle when alcohol level was above the legal limit. He appeared in court on Thursday 21 December and received a 20-month disqualification from driving and a £120 fine.

The Bristol area saw 27 per cent of the arrests, while Somerset West had 24 per cent of the arrests and South Gloucestershire had 16 per cent of the arrests.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Shelford, said,

“I applaud the work done by Avon and Somerset Police in removing numerous drink and drug drivers from our roads in this operation. I have seen this first hand when I joined the roads policing unit.

“This collaborative effort, bolstered by community reports, undoubtedly saved lives. The operation reinforces the crucial message that driving under the influence is never acceptable. And that together we can make our roads safer.”

Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit. Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of alcohol carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. For more information, visit

Information about drink/drug drivers can be reported online at or by calling 101 (always 999 in an emergency and if someone is currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs).  Reports can also be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Independent alcohol advice, information, and tools to help people make better choices about their drinking can be found at