AVON and Somerset Police have warned drivers of the “disastrous consequences” of drink-driving after releasing worrying figures for arrests over the summer months.

The police data reveals that 471 people were arrested for drink-driving in June, July and August, 2013, while more than half (51%) of drinkdrivers offended during the summer.

Ch Supt Ian Smith said: “Drinkdriving is an issue we take very seriously all year around.

“We’ll stop anyone we believe to be driving under the influence of alcohol whenever and wherever we find it, and we also run campaigns every summer and Christmas to remind people why it’s dangerous, illegal and, quite frankly, reckless to drink and drive.

“Motorists need to remember that there are various factors which affect how quickly a body breaks down alcohol, so waiting an hour or two might not be long enough, and don’t forget you might still be over the limit the following morning.”

“Our advice is not to drink at all if you’re planning to drive.

“If you’re going out socialising, have a designated driver who sticks to soft drinks or pre-book a taxi to get you home safely at the end of the night.”

Insurance company Confused.com requested the police data and its accompanying study found that 49% of motorists in the South-West believe there is more temptation to drink alcohol in the summer with 39% admitting they are more inclined to have an alcoholic drink when the sun is out.

But the combination of warm weather and a busy social calendar is creating a dangerous cocktail for road users.

Gemma Stanbury, head of motor insurance at Confused.com, said: “Some people think drinking and driving is a problem just at Christmas, but it’s an all-year-round issue.

“More than half (51%) of drinkdrivers in the South-West offend during the summer.”

Ch Supt Ian said: “Driving is a privilege and not a right, and drivers who abuse that privilege and endanger others will be targeted and arrested.

“Anyone who thinks a driver may be over the limit should call 999 without delay.