NORTH Yorkshire Police will be carrying out hundreds of breath tests this month as part of a major drink and drug driving enforcement campaign that coincides with the 2018 World Cup.
Officers will be out in force, carrying out stop checks at all times of the day including early mornings to detect those who are still over the limit from the night before.
They will also be targeting known offenders and key locations throughout the county.
The campaign, which begins tomorrow (June 14) and runs for a month, coincides with the 2018 World Cup.
North Yorkshire Police Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “The vast majority of people who go out to watch matches make the right choice and arrange a taxi, public transport or a designated driver to get them home.
“Unfortunately though, we always encounter people who make the wrong choice by drinking and driving after the match, or maybe even the morning after when they think the alcohol is no longer in their system.
“There’s absolutely no excuse for drink or drug driving. It’s selfish, it’s illegal and it wrecks lives. That’s why we’re targeting our resources to make sure we take as many drink or drug drivers off the road as possible.”
Police enforcement is being backed up by an awareness campaign in North Yorkshire’s pubs, urging drinkers to “Let Des do the driving – choose a designated driver or arrange a taxi”.
The campaign is being jointly run by 95 Alive, North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and North Yorkshire Police.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie said: "In 2016 there were 96 collisions involved a driver or pedestrian impaired by alcohol. In five of these collisions a person died and 26 resulted in a serious injury.
“I would urge people to take note of how much they are drinking and always give their body at least one hour per unit to remove the alcohol before driving again. Typically two glasses of wine would need at least six hours and four pints of larger would need at least 12 hours before driving again.
“It’s not just about whether people are over or under the legal limit, it’s about their fitness to drive.
Over the next four weeks our Road Safety Team will be holding events and sending out publicity material across the county to raise awareness of the potential consequences of drink driving. “
City of York, Executive Member for transport and planning, Coun Peter Dew, said: “We fully support this initiative. Many people, who aim to be responsible, fall foul by underestimating how long alcohol affects their driving.
“They wrongly believe that a couple of hours sleep or a few black coffees gives then a clean slate to drive the next day. Our message is simple - plan ahead, and limit your alcohol intake if you are driving the next day. Don’t let this World Cup end in penalties for you or anybody else.”
During a similar campaign in June last year, police carried out more than 600 breath tests and arrested 98 motorists on suspicion of drink or drug driving offences.
The average breathalyser reading among those arrested was 65.7 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – almost twice the legal drink drive limit.
Ten people were above 105 milligrams – three times the legal limit – and the highest was 143 milligrams.
At least one driver, who blew 133, was handed a 12-week suspended prison sentence and banned from driving for almost three years.
A total of 29 arrests were made for drug related driving, 25 of which resulted from a positive roadside drug test.
If you see someone about to drink drive or have information about someone who regularly drives after consuming alcohol or drugs, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101.