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Drink-driving crackdown launched across North Yorkshire to coincide with World Cup

Harrogate Advertiser reporter Finola Fitzpatrick tried out a breathalyser at an event to launch the campaign at Harrogate fire station.
Harrogate Advertiser reporter Finola Fitzpatrick tried out a breathalyser at an event to launch the campaign at Harrogate fire station.
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A crackdown on drink and drug driving has been launched across North Yorkshire to coincide with the World Cup.

A month of campaigning action has been planned by North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in conjunction with North Yorkshire County Council, York city council, and 95 Alive.

Police officers will be targeting known offenders and key locations throughout the county, carrying out stop checks at all times of the day - including early mornings to detect those who are still over the limit from the night before.

At an event to kickstart the campaign at Harrogate fire station on Wednesday, reporters were invited to be breathalysed and try out a car simulator used to test driver reaction.

North Yorkshire Police Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “The vast majority of people who go out to watch matches make the right choice and arrange a taxi, public transport or a designated driver to get them home.

“Unfortunately though, we always encounter people who make the wrong choice by drinking and driving after the match, or maybe even the morning after when they think the alcohol is no longer in their system.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for drink or drug driving. It’s selfish, it’s illegal and it wrecks lives.

“That’s why we’re targeting our resources to make sure we take as many drink or drug drivers off the road as possible.”

During a similar campaign in June last year, police carried out more than 600 breath tests and arrested 98 motorists on suspicion of drink or drug driving offences.

Sgt Morton said: “It’s heartbreaking when you have to knock on that door to tell relatives that their 18 or 19-year-old son is never coming home again because of someone who chose to drink and drive.

“Even if this campaign makes a difference to one person, and means that there’s one less drink or drug driver on the road, then it’s been worth it.

“We’d just like to encourage members of the public to call 101 if they see someone who is about to drink drive or have any other information.”