Avon and Somerset Police have arrested 61 drivers for being behind the wheel while under the influence of drink and drugs.

It comes as part of a national operation aimed at reducing fatalities in road collisions which took place from August 21 to August 27.

One suspect was charged after officers responded to reports of an erratic driver on the M5. The driver was seen using a mobile phone and found to be above the legal limit for alcohol.

Also travelling in the car was a 12-week-old cocker spaniel which was taken into the care of a local vets while its owner remained in police custody.

Chief Inspector Rob Cheeseman, Head of Road Policing and Road Safety at Avon and Somerset Police said: “In a single week, 61 drivers have been taken off the road before they could cause harm through drink or drug driving.

“Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, it’s 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.

“As we head into the autumn, we are not easing up on our campaign against drink or drug drivers – keeping our roads safe is our priority every day of the year.

“I am grateful for the support of the general public who are helping us to target offenders by sharing information when they suspect drink or drug driving is happening. By doing this, you are helping us to reinforce the message that getting behind the wheel while under the influence is never acceptable. Together we are keeping the roads of Avon and Somerset safer.”