Christmas drink and drug drive campaign sees 27 people arrested in Harrogate

North Yorkshire Police has been tackling drink and drug drivers during the Christmas period, with 27 motorists arrested in the Harrogate region.

By Gemma Jimmison
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 1:50 pm

The annual campaign, which ran from December 1 to January 1, saw an increase of 33 per cent in arrests for drink drivers on the previous year.

In total, 137 people were arrested across the county as part of the campaign. Of these, 97 were for drink driving and 40 were drug related (a 40 per cent decrease on last year). 27 offenders provided alcohol readings more than twice the legal limit and six provided readings three times the drink drive limit or more. Six offenders have been sentenced, receiving driving bans ranging from one to four years. Another 66 drivers are due in court shortly.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “This rise in drink driving arrests can be attributed to a number of factors, however we have been very pro-active throughout this campaign and our determination to target those who take such risks on our roads has never waned. I am sure none of those who were arrested were expecting to be stopped. But I want to remind those who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs – we are watching, and you will be caught.

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“Drink and drug driving can, and often does, have catastrophic consequences – which our officers see first-hand. We want you to live and that’s why we do what we do, and we will continue in our efforts to take people who drink and drug drive off the roads in 2022.”

The operation was part of the Fatal 5 campaign – a significant part of the York and North Yorkshire’s Road Safety Partnership’s Safer Roads strategy. The joint strategy, launched at the end of last year, brings together key organisations to focus on four areas – safer road users, safer vehicles, safer roads and learning lessons post-crashes. The aim of the strategy is to identify those most at risk and ensure everyone works together to do everything possible to keep those vulnerable road users as safe as possible.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe said: “Tackling drivers who continue to drink alcohol or take drugs and then get behind the wheel continues to be one of the priorities for improving road safety across North Yorkshire and York. The threat these individuals pose to other drivers, cyclists, riders and walkers, as well as themselves is huge. It is clearly disappointing so many continue to be caught over the limit, but I am pleased the proactive approach taken by police is removing at least some of them from our roads. The operation is a good example of the approach of our Road Safety Partnership. There has, and continues to be, much education and engagement on this issue - no-one can say they do not know the dangers - so enforcing the law and taking action is the right response.”