7 January, 2022

Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe comments on police’s drink drive arrests during Christmas drink and drug drive campaign

Zoë Metcalfe – Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and the City of York
North Yorkshire Police’s Christmas campaign targeting those who drink and drug drive has seen a significant increase of 33% on the previous year.

Between 1 December 2021 and 1 January 2022, officers made 137 arrests. Of these, 97 arrests were for drink driving and 40 were drug related (a 40% decrease on last year).

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 by a police officer on that journey. But I want to remind those who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs – we are watching, and you will be caught.

“We are here to save lives. 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 drink drug drive operation is 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 from across the city and the county 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 to keep us all safe.”

The campaign by numbers

  • Out of 25 arrests resulting from collisions, 21 of those involved alcohol intoxications, and four were for drug driving offences.
  • 27 offenders providing alcohol readings more than twice the legal limit and six offenders provided readings three times the drink drive limit or more (readings of 105ug/100ml or more).
  • Six offenders have been sentenced so far, receiving driving bans ranging from 12 months to 4 years.
  • Another 66 offenders are due in court over coming weeks.

Arrests by area:

  • Richmond 14
  • Harrogate 27
  • York 21
  • Selby 18
  • Scarborough 29
  • Ryedale 11
  • Hambleton 10
  • Craven 7