A total of 124 people were arrested throughout December by North Yorkshire Police for drink or drug driving.
Operation Attention which ran across the festive season, saw an increase of 21 arrests on last year’s campaign – up 20% on last year’s figures. It’s estimated that over 2000 breathalyser tests were conducted by officers throughout the duration of the campaign which ran from 1 to 31 December.
Of the 124 arrests, 32 were made for drug driving with 27 of those as a direct result of new roadside drug wipe screening tests.
The majority of arrests were made as a result of drink driving, with the highest breathalyser reading being provided by a 40-year-old woman from Richmond who blew 180 – over 5 times the legal limit.
Some of those arrested in the early stages of the campaign have now been dealt with by the courts, with two drivers being handed heavy fines and lengthy bans.
38-year-old Netra Phagami from Catterick was arrested after providing a reading of 91ug. He has been ordered to pay a total of £795 in fines and charges and has been disqualified from driving for 36 months and ordered to attend a drink impaired driver programme.
56-year-old Anthony Sambidge from South Milford, Selby was ordered by York Magistrates Court to pay £375 in fines and charges and banned from driving for 18 months after providing a breathalyser reading of 70ug.
Speaking about the arrest figures DCC Madgwick said:
“At the beginning of Operation Attention we issued a clear warning that we would be patrolling our roads looking for drink and drug drivers and that on arrest, they would face serious consequences. That’s why it is both frustrating and disappointing to see a large number of drivers chose not to heed our warning and acted irresponsibly, putting themselves and other road users at risk.”
“In spite of the devastation that drink and drug driving causes being common knowledge, I find it staggering that people still choose to flout the law and drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. I have said it many times before, the safe limit is zero.”
“Whilst the Christmas campaign may of come to an end – there will be no let up from officers looking out for drink and drug drivers on North Yorkshire’s roads and I urge the communities of North Yorkshire to join us in the fight against drink and drug driving by reporting anyone they suspect of getting behind the wheel while impaired.”