Drink-driving arrests saw 51 being charged

Dozens of drivers have been arrested on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit in a Northumbria Police operation over December.

A total of 81 people were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in the area in latest figures for the month, with 51 charged.

Officers carried out roadside operations across the region, stopping motorists, conducting vehicle checks and speaking about safe winter driving, as well as carrying out breath tests.

Chief Inspector John Heckels said: “It’s really disappointing 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 factor, and 26 people were killed.

The police activity was part of road safety campaign Operation Dragoon.

Ch Insp Heckels said: “We’re committed to doing all we can to get drink-drivers off the road.”