18 West Yorkshire motorists over drink limit at Christmas

Generic pictures of West Yorkshire Police tackling drink-driving at Christmas. Picture Scott Merrylees
Generic pictures of West Yorkshire Police tackling drink-driving at Christmas. Picture Scott Merrylees
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Eighteen motorists face being given a driving ban and a hefty fine after being caught drink or drug driving in West Yorkshire on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

In total nine drivers were stopped and charged by West Yorkshire Police on December 25 and the same number again the following day. Seven of the incidents took place in Leeds.

10 Dec 2014..........Generic pictures of West Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Unit tackling drink-driving at Christmas. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1006/17j

10 Dec 2014..........Generic pictures of West Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Unit tackling drink-driving at Christmas. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1006/17j

There were also eight charges for driving over the prescribed limit or failing to provide a specimen issued on Christmas Eve and seven on December 27.

The charges for drink-driving related offences, released yesterday by the force, bring the total to 135 since the start of a pre-Christmas crackdown at the start of December.

It means the total is likely to be lower than the 189 people who were arrested last December for allegedly getting behind the wheel while over the limit, including 70 in Leeds.

The majority of those caught in recent days in West Yorkshire are from the county, though police have also stopped motorists from places such as Rotherham, Darlington and Southend-on-Sea in Essex.

West Yorkshire Police has pledged to publish the age, gender and home town or city of every motorist caught drink or drug driving in the county in the run-up to Christmas.

Though levels of drink-driving have been falling steadily since the 1970s, police in West Yorkshire are worried that dozens are still caught flouting the law in the county each December, with those aged 25 to 34 the most likely to be stopped.

It was revealed last week that almost two thirds of those charged in connection with drink driving since the start of December have been aged 35 or under, with the youngest two 18-year-old men.

According to Inspector Joanne Field, who leads the Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Support teams, the arrests vary from those just over the 35 microgramme limit to those who are three times the limit and can barely stand.

She said: “The effect of a drink driving conviction can be devastating. In my time as an officer, I have seen a number of people lose their job, career and relationship.

“If you’re going out to drink any amount please leave your car keys at home. It’s not worth the risk.’’

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom said: “We must do all we can do to deter people from making the choice of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

“My hope is that our daily updates will demonstrate how many people have been caught recklessly endangering their own and others’ lives, and it will make people think twice before they get behind the wheel this Christmas.’’

MP Rachel Reeves.

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