148 arrested during police crackdown

A crackdown on drug and drink driving saw nearly 150 people arrested over the Christmas period.

Northumbria Police tested more than 1,500 drivers during December using new high tech testing kits.

A total of 1,665 motorists were breathalysed, with more than 100 arrested for being over the legal limit; a total of 539 motorists were breathalysed following a collision with 17 arrested; and a total of 148 people were arrested throughout the campaign.

Motor Patrols Chief Inspector John Heckels, who also leads Operation Dragoon, said: “Our teams were committed to stopping anybody who took the risk of having a drink when they got behind the wheel and 148 arrests shows that we delivered on our promise to clampdown on offenders.

“For the first Christmas we were also able to arrest a number of people for drug related offences and are continuing to have their day before the court in the coming weeks and months.

“People need to be aware that they are putting their own life at risk, as well as the lives of the public, by getting behind the wheel once they have had a drink or taken any form of illegal substance.”

“I also want to thank all members of the local communities who reported a suspected drink driver to us and allowed us to stop them before they caused an injury to either themselves or the public.

“We will continue to target those who break the law throughout the year and our Op Dragoon team will have a number of targets they will be monitoring to ensure they don’t get back behind the wheel.

“If you do suspect anyone of drink driving then call the police. Reporting these people could help to save lives and make a real difference out on the roads.”

Chief Inspector Heckels added: “We had a positive response again this year and a number of offenders were put before the courts because of intelligence fed to us by our local communities.

“We all want to make the region a safer place and it is always encouraging to see that the public share our determination to take those who put lives at risk off our roads.”

Anyone who suspects someone of drink or drug driving should contact police on 101 ext 69191 or 999 in an emergency.