Scarborough's drivers urged not to make 2020 worse by drink driving at Christmas

Scarborough’s drivers are being urged not to end 2020 in a police cell.

By Sarah Fitton
Monday, 7th December 2020, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 7th December 2020, 10:52 am

North Yorkshire Police say this year has already been bad enough, and are asking people not to make it even worse by drink driving this Christmas.

Officers say they will catch dozens of offenders during the festive season who will end up in custody, losing their licence and getting a criminal record.

They fear the usual rise in drink drive cases at Christmas could be compounded by the recent reopening of pubs and restaurants.

Police will be out across Scarborough checking for drink drivers.

They add nationally, the amount people drink has risen significantly during lockdown.

“It’s fair to say 2020’s been a terrible year, and one that most people will want to put behind them,” said Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton.

“However, it’ll get even worse for those who are caught drink driving.

“We see how upset and remorseful some people are as they sit in custody – and that’s before their families find out or the courts take their licence, fine them and give them a criminal record.

“But we also see first-hand the horrendous injuries, fatalities and carnage drink drivers cause not only to themselves, but to innocent people.

“When you’ve had to pick up body parts from the carriageway and break devastating news to families, you have no sympathy for those who choose to drink and drive.

“My plea to drivers is look after your mates, be aware you may still be over the limit the morning after and never, ever ‘just chance it’.

“Don’t make 2020 even worse – don’t drink and drive!”

Officers in North Yorkshire will be conducting roadside breath tests around the clock, including mornings when motorists can be caught over the limit from the night before.

Key routes and rural “backroads” will be targeted, and information about possible offenders will be shared and acted on.

Anyone convicted of drink or drug driving gets a criminal record, and is subject to an automatic driving ban of at least 12 months and large fines. Serious offenders can also be jailed.

One hundred motorists were arrested in North Yorkshire during last year’s Christmas campaign, with some blowing more than three times the legal limit.

The force’s campaign, code-named Op Attention, runs alongside a national drink drive campaign by the National Police Chief’s Council.

Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit.

Anyone who causes a death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment.