Eighty-one arrested in drink-drive blitz

THOUSANDS of people were breathalysed and 81 arrested during a North Yorkshire Police crackdown on drink drivers over the festive period.

The force's annual drink and drug campaign, which came to an end on New Year's Day, was billed as its biggest ever with officers vowing a zero-tolerance approach and urging members of the public to tell them about suspected drink drivers.

Last night it emerged more than 4,000 people were breathalysed by officers throughout December and a fast-track court system, established for the duration of the campaign, banned 11 motorists from driving before Christmas.

Police say numerous other suspected drink drivers are still awaiting court hearings, while five people are also on bail after being arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs.

Traffic Sergeant Ian Pope said: "We will not tolerate anyone driving while unfit through drink or drugs on the roads of North Yorkshire. The number of drivers breathalysed during the campaign shows how determined we are to get the message through that drink and drug driving is simply unacceptable.

"Although it is pleasing that the message does seem to be having an effect – we arrested 108 people during last year's campaign compared to 81 this year – 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.

"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."