CHRISTMAS is a time of year when motorists are warned of the perils of driving after drinking alcohol.

But North Yorkshire Police is aiming its drink drive message at a different group of motorists this year – people who’d never dream of drinking and driving.

Officers say despite persistent warnings in previous years, a small minority of drivers continue to ignore the message.

As a consequence, every year in North Yorkshire there are around 100 people killed or injured in crashes involving alcohol or drugs.

So this year, officers hope law-abiding motorists can help them keep the roads safe by keeping an eye on friends when they are out and stopping them taking to the road if they are under the influence.

They are also encouraging people to pass on information about drink or drug drivers, as their month-long Christmas drink and drug driving campaign begins.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: "No matter what we say, year after year we still catch dozens of people driving under the influence in just the first week of our Christmas campaign.

“Drink or drug driving is simply a stupid decision to make.

“So we’re doing things differently this year and aiming our message at those who have the sense not to do it.

“If you know the difference between right and wrong, you can help us make a difference.

“It might be by keeping an eye on mates when they’re out having a drink, or ordering them a taxi and making sure they don’t get behind the wheel if you think they’ve had one too many.

“Preventing them from driving in the first place could well save a life. "Alternatively it could be by sharing information with us about someone who is drink or drug driving so we can stop a tragedy before it happens.”

Drinking can be fun but drink driving can be fatal Picture: Pixabay.comDrinking can be fun but drink driving can be fatal Picture:

Christmas can bring plenty of parties and social drinking

Last year, a third of the suspected drink or drug drivers arrested by North Yorkshire Police had been involved in a crash.

Sgt Morton said: “That's a staggering proportion that shows just how much alcohol and drugs impair your ability to drive."

He added: “We see the horrific consequences of drink or drug driving first-hand. If you saw what we see, you’d definitely report a drink or drug driver.”

Police will be out in force in the run up to Christmas, carrying out stop checks at all times of the day and night. They will also be targeting known offenders and key locations across the county.