North Yorkshire Police have arrested 61 people as they crack down on a ‘worrying’ increase in high drink and drive readings.
The police have been conducting a number of targeted operations on drink and drug driving with more planned over the coming weeks.
So far, 540 breath tests have been conducted and police have made 61 arrests with the highest number coming from the York area.
Police have arrested 18 people in York, 11 in Harrogate, four in Craven and Richmond, seven in Scarborough and Hambleton and five in Selby and Ryedale.
Of particular concern from the arrests already made are the high levels of alcohol being detected with 20 per cent of those arrested providing samples three times over the legal limit.
During the same campaign last year only 6 per cent 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.
A further four 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.”