'If you drive under the influence, you’re an idiot' - police issue stark message on drink driving after over 140 arrests in one month

Roads Policing Sergeant Andy Morton.
Roads Policing Sergeant Andy Morton.

Fifteen drink or drug drivers arrested in June have already lost their licence after appearing at courts in North Yorkshire.

They have been banned for a total of 28 years, which is likely to increase as more appear for sentence in the coming days.

They are among the 141 motorists arrested in June during Operation Attention – a month-long campaign to tackle a summer surge in drink and drug driving in North Yorkshire.

It has prompted police to warn motorists: “Our summer campaign may have ended, but we’re committed to catching offenders all year round.”

The longest ban so far was just over four years, given to a woman from York after she blew three times the legal drink drive limit. She was also fined £170 and given a 250-hour community order.

So far, 64 people arrested during the campaign have been charged with drink or drug driving offences. More are likely to be charged in the coming weeks as police await blood test results and other evidence.

Roads Policing Sergeant Andy Morton said: “Our push to tackle a summertime surge in drink and drug driving has once again yielded some shocking results.

“The fact some people still think it’s acceptable to drive when they’re several times over the drink drive limit is, frankly, staggering.

“However, fortunately the courts take a similarly dim view. As we continue to catch drink and drug drivers all year round, the courts will continue to hand out lengthy bans, fines and community orders.

“If you drive under the influence, you’re an idiot. If you don’t do it and don’t like people putting lives in danger, tell us about it. Call us on 101 to pass on information about people who drink or do drugs then drive.

“Or if you see someone driving or about to drive when they’re already under the influence, phone 999 immediately.”

Well over 500 breath tests were conducted during the campaign period.

In total, 48 of the arrests were drug related, with 46 being as a result of positive roadside drug screening tests. The remainder were alcohol related.

Men were once again disproportionately represented in the statistics, with 82% of arrests being males.

However, the highest breathalyser reading taken during the campaign was from a woman who was arrested in York and blew 129 – more than three times the legal limit. She was due in court this week.

During Operation Attention, police carried out checks on drivers around the clock and throughout North Yorkshire.

Events run by the 95Alive Partnership were also scheduled for June and July to educate the public and reinforce prevention messages.