North Yorkshire Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, drivers stopped in Harrogate and Spofforth

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North Yorkshire Police is part-way through the Christmas drink and drug drive campaign.

  • National research has shown that the amount people drink has risen significantly during lockdown
  • In North Yorkshire, officers will be conducting roadside breath tests around the clock
  • Breath test will include mornings when  motorists may be over the limit from the night before

Anyone convicted of drink or drug driving gets a criminal record, and is subject to an automatic driving ban of at least 12 months and large fines. Serious offenders can also be jailed.

A driver being stopped in Spofforth for speeding, they were asked to do a breath test for alcohol
A driver being stopped in Spofforth for speeding, they were asked to do a breath test for alcohol
Officers checking vehicle speed in Spofforth
Officers checking vehicle speed in Spofforth

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said:

We see how upset and remorseful some people are as they sit in custody – and that’s before their families find out or the courts take their licence, fine them and given them a criminal record.

But we also see first-hand the horrendous injuries, fatalities and carnage drink drivers cause not only to themselves, but to innocent people.

When you’ve had to pick up body parts from the carriageway and break devastating news to families, you have no sympathy for those who choose to drink and drive.

My plea to drivers is look after your mates, be aware you may still be over the limit the morning after and never, ever ‘just chance it’. Don’t make 2020 even worse – don’t drink and drive.

On the evening of the 17 December 2020, the Roads Policing Team were stopping cars on the Wetherby Road, near to Sainsbury’s.

The law doesn’t allow a random stop of a vehicle. There needs to be a reason, such as headlight out, excess speed or concern of the manner of their driving.

Drivers being spoken to by the Harrogate recycling centre
Drivers being spoken to by the Harrogate recycling centre
Wetherby Road in Harrogate
Wetherby Road in Harrogate
Traffic Constable Dave Minto, who was recently badly injured during a vehicle stop, resulting in a broken leg, and a number of months away from work.
  • One hundred motorists were arrested in North Yorkshire during last year’s Christmas campaign – some blowing more than three times the legal limit.
  • The force’s campaign, code-named Op Attention, runs alongside a national drink drive campaign by the National Police Chief’s Council.
  • Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit. Anyone who causes a death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment.


Drager drugs test machine
Drager drugs test machine

The campaign is also targetting drug drivers, with some drivers, who have been stopped, also being tested for drugs. In North Yorkshire they use two methods, both from saliva samples. One test uses a wipe that is rubbed around the inside of the mouth and gives an indication based on reaction on the wipe (colour change). The other method is the portable test machine, Drager, that analysis saliva taken from inside the mouth.

They test for cocaine and cannabis, but are non-evidential, meaning if found positive they would be asked to take a blood test in the police station.

Officers checking vehicles on both carriageways on the Wetherby Road in Harrogate
Officers checking vehicles on both carriageways on the Wetherby Road in Harrogate

 

Police are also asking for information to be passed to them, if you know of someone driver under the influence of drink or drugs – information can be passed on by calling 101 or by Crime Stoppers at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously

Checking vehicle speed
Checking vehicle speed
Drivers being spoken to by the Harrogate recycling centre
Drivers being spoken to by the Harrogate recycling centre
Wetherby Road, Harrogate
Wetherby Road, Harrogate
Wetherby Road, Harrogate
Wetherby Road, Harrogate

 

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