The police are urging the public urged to stay safe during festive party season.
With party season in full-swing many people will be out celebrating in pubs, bars and clubs throughout North Yorkshire and the City of York and it is important that they think about how to get home safely.
It is a good idea to plan your journey home before going out. Arrange for someone to pick you up, book a taxi, appoint a designated driver or take public transport, but whatever you do, don’t drink or take drugs and drive.
Since North Yorkshire Police’s Christmas Safety Campaign began at the end of November, officers have arrested 61 motorists on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Of those arrested, 28 people have been charged with drink or drug driving or failing to provide a specimen.
Many of those charged have already appeared in court or are due before Magistrates before the New Year, where they face losing their driving licences.
Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
If you are attending a Christmas party or are planning a night out with friends of the next couple of weeks, start thinking about how you are going to get home.
Drink or drug driving is not a safe or sensible option and it is also against the law.
There are much better and more responsible options such as taxis, public transport and lifts from family or friends.
Getting home safely and without a criminal record should be your priority and will ensure that you have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Sgt Morton warned that anyone who dismisses his advice and takes the risk is putting their own and other people’s lives’ in jeopardy.
Sgt Morton added:
The reason we patrol the roads looking out for drink and drug drivers at this time of year is to keep people safe. We all know that getting behind the wheel while impaired is irresponsible and dangerous and we have to try and stop people who still think it is acceptable.
If you do take the risk, there is a good chance you will be caught and banned from the roads. You are also in danger of doing serious harm to yourself or somebody else, ruining Christmas for your own or another family.
Drink drive arrests
York – 16
Craven – seven
Harrogate/Ripon – 10
Hambleton/Richmondshire – 13
Selby District – 4
Scarborough/Ryedale – 11
Sgt Morton added:
We want people to have an enjoyable and safe night out and to think about how they going to get home afterwards.
People who are drinking, are encouraged to do so responsibly. Having too much to drink may lead you into dangerous situations where you end up putting yourself at risk.
Don’t accept a drink from someone you have just met, unless you see it being served. Otherwise, there is the danger that they may have spiked the drink before handing it to you.
Consider pre-booking a taxi or if you are out in a group, nominate a person to stay sober who can give you a lift home.”
If you have to walk home, use a well lit route, avoiding dimly lit short cuts and don’t go by yourself. If you have no choice but to walk alone, make arrangements to let someone know you have arrived home safely.