Increase in Christmas drink-drive arrests

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POLICE chiefs have hit out at drink drivers continuing to flout the law in North Yorkshire after it emerged a greater percentage of arrests were made during this year’s festive-period crackdown.

North Yorkshire Police conducted 2,778 roadside breath tests between December 1 and January 1, as officers stop-checked drivers and breathalysed anyone involved in a road traffic collision.

However despite the number of breath tests being far below last year’s figure of 4,000, it resulted in a higher number of arrests.

In total, 100 people were arrested, 63 of those were charged and 28 offenders have already been through the court system and banned from driving.

Of those convicted, one 37-year-old man was banned for four years after he was caught drink driving on the A172 at Ingleby Arncliffe, Northallerton, at more than three times the legal limit. He must also do 200 hours unpaid work.

Meanwhile, a 38-year-old woman has been hit with a five-year ban after police found her driving in Skipton while almost four times the legal limit.

Traffic Sergeant Pete Stringer, who coordinated the Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, said: “While I am delighted that we made so many arrests during the campaign it is extremely disappointing that people still think that drink and drug driving is acceptable.

“Our approach this time was aimed at trying to catch people who are breaking the law and putting lives at risk, rather than breath testing large numbers of people and in that respect it has been a very successful campaign.

“I am extremely grateful to the people who provided us with information throughout the course of the campaign, which certainly helped in our efforts to target offenders.

“We are always on the look out for people breaking the law and no matter what time of year it is you will get caught and banned from the roads.”