746 motorists stopped and 75 arrests suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs

MID-way through a Christmas drink and drug driving campaign across Cleveland and Durham, 746 motorists have been stopped.

75 arrests have been made of drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Officers have been carrying out the campaign as part of a national clampdown on those getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence in the run up to Christmas.

On December 15, a male driver was arrested after he was breathalysed and was found to be almost four times the drink drive limit in Billingham.

The vehicle he was driving had narrowly avoided a collision with a motorbike, and upon realising that the driver was possibly intoxicated, the motorbike rider removed the keys from the vehicle and called police.

Another man was arrested after a member of the public, who knew of the ongoing campaign, reported that he believed a man in a local supermarket in Grangetown was under the influence of drugs.

Police attended and the man was arrested after testing positive for drugs and having no insurance on his vehicle.

In Spennymoor, a woman was arrested and charged after allegedly driving erratically near to a school.

A member of the public called police and the woman was breathalysed.

She was allegedly four times the drink drive limit.

She will now appear in court in Newton Aycliffe in January.

Inspector Jamie Bell, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “We have already potentially safeguarded road users from 75 drivers suspected of being under the influence of drink or drugs whilst on our roads, and in at least two of these cases we have had valuable help from members of the public.

“We look to continue this great work over the coming weeks and into the new year, and will continue with our proactive stops and intelligence-led policing right across Cleveland and Durham.

“Over the festive season, we’ll all remain in tier 3, so pubs will be closed but we know that people might drink alcohol in their homes and we really need drivers to be aware that they could still be over the limit the following morning.

“We hope that everyone has an enjoyable, and safe, Christmas and new year.”

The Northern Echo | Durham