Crackdown continues on potential drink drivers

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Dozens of motorists have been stopped by police as part of a crackdown on drink driving over the Christmas period.

A total of 81 people have been arrested on suspicion of drink driving during December as part of Northumbria Police’s winter road safety campaign.

Since December 1, the force’s Operation Dragoon team has been focusing on winter road safety and targeting drink drivers across the whole of the force area.

Officers have been carrying out roadside operations across the region’s road networks; stopping motorists, carrying out vehicle checks and speaking to motorists about safe winter driving.

As part of the safety checks they have also been carrying out roadside breath tests, on occasions where there has been a suspicion of drink driving.

Of those arrested, 51 have been charged.

Chief Inspector John Heckels said: “It’s really disappointing that after all of the publicity that is around at this time of year about drink driving that so many people are still choosing to do it.

“Drink drivers are putting their, and others’ lives, at risk by choosing to get behind the wheel after drinking. Our message is to think before you drink. Don’t take the risk by driving if you’ve had a drink.

“Between 2009 and 2013; 1,573 people were injured in collisions where alcohol was a contributing factor and 26 people were killed.

“The activity forms part of the force’s road safety campaign Operation Dragoon which has been running since earlier this year and is aimed at making the roads safer for everyone.

“We’re committed to doing all we can to get drink drivers off the road and Dragoon will continue to run for the rest of December and into 2015.”