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Thousands stopped in Christmas crackdown in North Yorkshire


6:18pm 4th January 2011

Drivers flouting the law over the festive period found police in uncharitable mood, as officers took a hard-line approach to drink and drug driving.

Over 4,000 people were breathalysed and 81 people arrested during North Yorkshire Police's Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, between 1st December and 31st December 2010.

A special fast-track court system was established for the duration of the campaign, to ensure that anyone caught driving while under the influence was swiftly dealt with.

In a strong message to potential drink drivers, police ensured that 11 motorists were charged, brought before the courts and banned from driving before Christmas.

A further 10 offenders were disqualified within one month of being caught and numerous other suspected drink drivers are awaiting court hearings.

Five people are also on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs.

Traffic Sergeant Ian Pope, of North Yorkshire Police's Road Policing Group, said:

"We will not tolerate anyone driving while unfit through drink or drugs on the roads of North Yorkshire and the City of York.

"The number of drivers breathalysed during the campaign shows how determined we are to get the message through that drink and drug driving is simply unacceptable.

"Although it is pleasing that the message does seem to be having an effect - we arrested 108 people during last year's campaign compared to 81 this year - it is astounding that people are still driving while impaired through drink or drugs.

"It is dangerous, it is illegal and it ruins lives. People need to realise this and think before they get behind the wheel."

Shop a drink driver

Ahead of the Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, police urged members of the public to play their part and 'shop a drink driver.'
Residents who suspected anyone of driving while over the limit were asked to contact the police and provide information that could help reduce the number of drink drivers on the roads of North Yorkshire and the City of York.

Police were delighted with the public's response and made a number of arrests thanks to information provided by concerned members of the community.

Sgt Pope added:

"I would like to thank anyone who phoned the police with information over the Christmas period. It is very pleasing that the public are taking this important issue seriously and their help has been of huge benefit to the campaign.

"Much of the intelligence we received led directly to arrests and as a result prevented potential tragedies.

"Even though the festive campaign has finished, drink and drug driving is still a serious issue and I would urge people to continue providing us with information to help us target drink and drug driving in our communities."

Information provided by two members of the public was instrumental in police arresting a 40-year-old man from Cumbria on Sunday 2nd January 2011.

The couple were travelling on the southbound carriageway of the A1 near Scotch Corner, at approximately 8.30pm when they became concerned by the manner of driving of a vehicle in front of them.

They called the police and flashed at the driver, instructing him to pull over.

When officers arrived at the scene the man was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and taken into custody where he recorded a breathalyser reading of 168 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

He is due to appear at Northallerton Magistrates' Court on Friday 21st January 2011.

Police also worked closely with 95 Alive the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership to promote the campaign and to encourage people to have a Designated Driver.

Posters and leaflets were put up by licensees in pubs and restaurants across the County and a large billboard travelled to all areas of North Yorkshire and the City of York to support the campaign.

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