In less than a week of Operation Attention, North Yorkshire Police have already made 22 arrests for drink and drug driving offences, resulting in 14 people being charged to court.
The highest reading so far has been provided on the fourth day of the campaign, by a 44-year-old woman arrested in Scarborough who blew 141ug – four times the legal limit (35ug per 100ml of breath.)
Other high readings include a 29-year-old man arrested in Catterick who blew 87ug – over two times the legal limit and a 21-year-old man arrested in Catterick who blew 88ug – two and a half times the legal limit.
Another drink driving arrest was made in York on Friday morning, where a 32-year-old man provided a reading of 60ug, one and a half times the limit. He had a child in the car with him at the time.
With the festive season upon us and lots of Christmas nights out planned, North Yorkshire Police is encouraging people to plan how they will get home and if they are intending to have a drink, to leave their car and not risk driving whilst under the influence.
Alongside detecting drink driving, officers are also operating roadside drug screening tests. Already there have been two positive results for drug driving – a 67-year-old man who is currently on police bail and the other a 29-year-old man, who is also on bail.
Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton of the Force’s Roads Policing Group said:
“Every Christmas we try and educate people about the devastation and heartbreak that drink and drug driving can cause. We appeal to members of the public that if they have information about anyone who is driving under the influence of drink or drugs, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1 and pass the details to the Force Control Room.”
“For those who would prefer to remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. You could save someone’s life.”
“Anyone who is considering driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs should know that we will be out and about waiting. If you are convicted, be aware that you face disqualification from driving a hefty fine and the possibility of a prison sentence.”
3.5 times over limit
The Police are reporting that they arrested a drunk driver in Tesco car park, on Tadcaster Road, yesterday,
The driver was 3.5 times over the limit and had children with him in the vehicle
The police later said,
“Male arrested for drunk driving after being stopped with 2 young children in the car. He blew a disgraceful 124, over 3x the limit. The male was further arrested for disqualified driving and driving without insurance and will appear in court.
It transpires the driver was also disqualified from driving for a previous drink driving conviction.
It was a concerned member of the public who first alerted us, if you have any concerns about anyone who appears to be drunk or under the influence of drugs driving we urge you to contact us immediately.”
The crack down on drink and drug driving continues with North Yorkshire Police planning a number of targeted operations over the coming weeks.
540 breath tests have been conducted with 61 arrests having been made so far.
Of particular concern from the arrests already made are the high levels of alcohol being detected.
Alarmingly 20% of those arrests have provided samples three times over the legal limit (35 micrograms per 100ml). During the same campaign last year only 6% of arrests provided readings of this level.
The highest reading taken so far was from a 58-year-old man arrested in the Malton area, who blew 139ug – just under four times the legal limit. He was later charged to Scarborough Magistrates’ Court and received a driving ban for 34 months and was ordered to pay £295 costs and carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.
A 42-year-old man who appeared at York Magistrates’ Court with a reading of 123ug/100ml received a 12 week suspended prison sentence, along with a 36 month ban and £315 costs to pay.
Four further cases have appeared in court this week; all received driving bans and hefty fines.
New road side drug screening devices are also helping North Yorkshire Police catch those driving under the influence of drugs. 13 arrests have been made so far due to positive drugs tests with three positive results for cannabis.
Sgt Andy Morton of the Roads Policing Group said “These prosecutions show that if people choose to break the law and drive under the influence of drink or drugs – we are out in force and waiting to catch you. Be assured, when we do, you will face a hefty fine and the possibility of a prison sentence.”
“If you are going out to have a drink ensure you have thought about how you will get home at the end of the night – leave your car at home.”
“We continue to appeal to members of the public that if they know of someone driving under the influence of drink or drugs – please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”