North Yorkshire Police have today released the results of Operation Attention, their Christmas drink and drug driving crackdown, which ran from Friday 1 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018.
While the force target and arrest drink and drug drivers all year round, it’s known that the offence is more prevalent at Christmas and New Year, when festive celebrations are in full swing.
Over the 2017 campaign, 137 drivers were arrested across the region for the offence, exactly the same number of arrests made in the Christmas 2016 campaign and an increase of 13 on Christmas 2015.
83 arrests were made for drink driving and 54 for drug driving. 117 of those arrested were men and 20 were women.
Shockingly a third of the arrests made were after a road traffic collision (46 arrests.)
The highest breathalyser reading of the campaign was 141 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, provided by a 41-year-old woman arrested in the Thirsk area on 11 December 2017 at around 5pm. She appeared at Northallerton Magistrates Court on 19 December 2017, where she pleaded guilty and received a 36-month driving ban, ordered to pay £200 costs and was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
15 drivers arrested provided breathalyser readings of over 100 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, meaning 11% of those arrested were in excess of two and a half times the legal limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Speaking about the number of arrests made throughout December, Sergeant Andy Morton of the Roads Policing Group said;
“The dangers of drink and drug driving are widely known and across the Christmas period we issue numerous warnings and deterrent messages to drivers, to both highlight the dangers of driving over the limit and make them well aware that police are patrolling the roads.
“That’s why it is both shocking and astounding to see that some still choose to ignore the warnings and not only risk arrest and prosecution, but the physical safety of themselves and other road users.
“However, the arrests figures released today demonstrate that officers remain vigilant and fully committed to identifying these drivers and getting them off the roads. Although the Christmas campaign has drawn to a close, our determination to ensure that the roads remain safe for the public of North Yorkshire remains resolute and we will persist in targeting drink and drug drivers throughout the year. We also continue to work alongside our partners at the 95 Alive Road Safety Partnership in the educational and preventative work they deliver.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the public who picked up the phone and reported drink and drug drivers to us. Your actions assisted police in tracking these drivers down and arresting them and ultimately, lives being saved.”