On Friday, 3 December 2021, we joined the North Yorkshire Roads Policing Team (RPT) to see first-hand their work to tackle drink – drug driving in the run-up to Christmas.
The plan was to patrol the streets, stopping vehicles for offences such as poor driving, speeding or vehicle defects, such as defective lights. A vehicle stop then gives the officer to engage with the driver, and to do an alcohol breath test, if they feel it is required. TC Storey also had intelligence on the location of a number of persistent offenders, intelligence that it was planned to follow-up on throughout the shift.
We left Harrogate Station at around 8:20pm, and headed down Otley road, then left past West Park. Further down that road, TC Storey spotted a vehicle driving at speed, and erratically. The vehicle was followed and then stopped near to the Old Swan Hotel.
The driver was spoken to and given opportunity to explain his manner of driving. He apologized at length and was then asked to do a roadside breath test. The test showed he was under the limit, and the individual was then sent on his way with no further action.
From Swan road, we travelled towards a local pub. TC Storey had been given information that there was a repeat offender that had been driving after drinking in the pub. We drove past the pub, and the car park was checked for the reported vehicle, but found not to be there.
From there we headed down Skipton, and along Hookstone road, before heading through the town centre again. A vehicle was spotted with a rear light out, and then stopped. The driver was given a breath test, but under the legal limit.
By now it was after 9pm, and the control room made the officer aware of a serious RTC in Settle. TC Storey then responded to this high priority incident, and sped to Settle. The officer remained at the incident until the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Christmas Drink-Drug Driving Campaign continues throughout the month.