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West Yorkshire Police arrest 50 people during first week of drink and drug driving crackdown

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Police in West Yorkshire have arrested 50 people since a festive crackdown on drink and drug driving began at the start of this month.

Officers had arrested 15 people from Leeds, 12 from Bradford, eight from Kirklees, eight from Wakefield and seven from Calderdale by this morning.

Sergeant Gary Roper, of the Roads Policing Support unit, said: “It’s quite startling that so many people have been arrested so far this December as we haven’t yet had many of the ‘busy’ celebration weekends, when we traditionally find more people take the risk of drink driving.

“Over the whole of December 2016 we arrested an average of eight people day for drink driving offences. We have seen 50 people arrested so far this December with eight of those for drug driving offences.

"Officers are policing West Yorkshire each and every day and will take robust action against anyone they suspect of drink or drug driving. People who drink and drive are risking theirs and other people’s lives."

The force said that 29 of the arrests had led to someone being charged - and 14 per cent of those charged were aged over 65

Further charges could be brought once blood test analysis results are returned for those suspected of drug driving.

Sgt Roper said: “Those charged with offences will now face a court appearance, and could end up with a lengthy driving ban and other penalties which could impact on their job and other areas of their life. People need to consider if drink or drug driving is really worth the risk."

The force is also continuing to promote its Not The Usual Suspects campaign, which seeks to remind people that anyone could be a drink driver.

“We really want to remind people of the very real dangers that getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using drugs can have – the results could be catastrophic," Sgt Roper said.

“Our message to everyone this December is this - if you’re out drinking plan how you’re getting home.

"Assign a designated driver, pre-book a taxi or use public transport, but above all don’t drive after having a drink. It’s not worth the risk for you, your passengers or the other roads users around you. Be safe this Christmas, don’t drink and drive.”