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90 arrested as police down drink drivers


11:12am 4th July 2011

A high profile campaign to tackle drink and drug driving this summer has been a huge success for North Yorkshire Police.

Officers made 90 arrests and charged 48 people as their efforts surpassed the Christmas drink and drug campaign, sending a clear message that driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will not be tolerated in North Yorkshire and the City of York.

Since 1 June 2011, when the national Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) operation began, police in the county administered 2100 breath tests and fast-tracked offenders through the courts as they left drivers across the county in no doubt that anyone breaking the law would be swiftly dealt with.

Although the campaign finished at midnight on 30 June 2011, officers are still on the lookout for drink and drug drivers on the county’s roads.

Fortunately, nobody was injured in the incident but it highlights the effects drink or drugs can have on a driver’s judgement.

Traffic Sergeant Ian Pope, of the force’s Roads Policing Group, said:

“The fight against drink and drug driving never stops because it is dangerous, unacceptable and costs lives unnecessarily.

“Nobody needs to drink or take drugs and drive; it is a choice that irresponsible people take and on too many occasions it results in tragedies that could have been easily avoided.

“The results of this summer’s campaign are very pleasing. We had a high-visibility presence on the roads and although we detected a lot of people who were driving while impaired, the fact that we have charged some of them means they will be banned and no longer a danger to other road users.

“Hopefully the people who have been arrested will see the error of their ways and others who haven’t been caught yet will get the message that: we will catch you and you will get banned from the roads.”

Throughout the campaign there have been contrasting examples of drivers’ attitudes towards drink driving.

Some people have been caught completely disregarding the law, which is designed to protect the safety of all road users. However, officers have also been grateful to responsible members of the public who have provided them with information which has helped to catch drink drivers.

Sgt Pope believes everyone has a responsibility to help stamp out drink driving, by ensuring they don’t drink and drive and by telling the police if they suspect someone else of driving while unfit through alcohol or drugs.

Sgt Pope said:

“It is reassuring that the majority of people recognise that drink driving is socially unacceptable and I am grateful to the many people who pass information to the police about drink or drug drivers in their community.

“It is going to take a collective effort by the police and the public to reduce the number of people who are getting behind the wheel while affected by drink or drugs but it will be worth the effort if we can save lives.

“Although this particular campaign has come to an end, there will be other campaigns until everybody gets the message that drink and drug driving is totally unacceptable.

“To help us get the message across I urge people to keep contacting the police if they suspect someone in their community is breaking the law by driving while unfit through drink or drugs.”

If you would like to report a drink driver, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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