Drink driving shame of Harrogate

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THE upmarket North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate has been named as the area with the highest number of drink drive convictions in the country.

New research into 14 million car insurance applications nationwide has revealed Harrogate is the worst hotspot in Britain, with almost one in every 100 car insurance applicants mentioning a drink drive offence.

Nationally, more than one in 25 driving offences in the UK are now drink and drug related.

The figures have been condemned by police, with national anti drink driving campaigns being launched across the country in the run up to Christmas and some pubs offering two for one on soft drinks.

In North Yorkshire alone there have been 1,290 serious injuries and 9,990 total casualties directly related to drink driving incidents in the past year.

Earlier this week, temporary chief constable Tim Madgwick criticised drivers for failing to get the message after five people were arrested for drink driving hours after the force’s annual campaign was launched.

A police spokesman said yesterday: “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, drink driving is not acceptable and if you take the risk you are likely to get caught.

“North Yorkshire Police focuses all year round on catching people who think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.

“Drink driving costs lives, jobs, homes and relationships. It’s not worth the risk.”

Last year, the Yorkshire Post revealed the region now has the highest proportion of population at “increased risk drinking” – people who regularly drink to excess at home – in the country, with the problem particularly severe in North Yorkshire where six of its eight local authority areas are in the bottom 25 of all 326 in England.

Harrogate is ranked second from bottom in the country.