North Yorkshire: 4,000 drivers breath tested

More than 4,000 drivers were breathalysed and 81 were arrested under drink and drug-driving laws across North Yorkshire in December.

But the figures showed a drop in those detained by police compared with last year.

In a hard-line fast-track approach to deal with offenders swiftly, North Yorkshire Police charged 11 of those arrested and put them before the courts to be banned before the Christmas holiday.

A further 10 offenders were disqualified within one month of being caught and numerous other suspected drink-drivers are awaiting court hearings.

Five people are now on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs.

The number of overall arrests was down on last year's total when 108

were arrested for alleged drink- or drug-driving offences.

Traffic Sgt Ian Pope, of North Yorkshire Police's Road Policing Group,

said: "We will not tolerate anyone driving while unfit through drink or drugs on the roads of North Yorkshire.

"Although it is pleasing that the message does seem to be having an effect it is astounding that people are still driving while impaired through drink or drugs.

"It is dangerous, it is illegal and it ruins lives. People need to realise this and think before they get behind the wheel."

This year North Yorkshire Police ran a 'shop a drink driver' promotion ahead of the Christmas campaign urging members of the public to play their part by tipping off police about people they suspected of driving while over the limit. Police were delighted with the public's response and made a number of arrests thanks to information provided by concerned members of the community.

Sgt Pope added: "I would like to thank anyone who phoned the police with information over the Christmas period.

"It is very pleasing that the public are taking this important issue seriously and their help has been of huge benefit to the campaign. Much of the intelligence we received led directly to arrests and as a result prevented potential tragedies."

In one case a couple were travelling on the southbound carriageway of the A1 near Scotch Corner last Sunday around 8.30pm when they became concerned by the manner of driving of a vehicle in front of them.

They called police and officers arrested a 40-year-old man from Cumbria on suspicion of drink driving. He was taken into custody where he recorded a breathalyser reading of 168 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35. West Yorkshire Police has yet to release its figures.