MORE than 20 motorists have been arrested in the first week of North Yorkshire Police’s Christmas drink drive campaign.

On average, those arrested have recorded breathalyser readings of almost twice the legal drink drive limit.

One man in his 60s who was stopped in Scarborough blew more than three-and-a-half times the legal limit.

It has prompted traffic officers to reiterate their warning: “If you drink and drive, we will catch you”.

Five motorists were arrested within the first 24 hours of the campaign – three in York, one in Scarborough and one in Harrogate.

The youngest was aged 17.

Three drink drivers were caught in Hambleton and Ryedale, and one was stopped in Richmond.

Eight have been charged and bailed to appear in front of magistrates so far.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Already we’re encountering people who have ignored our warnings and decided to make the wrong decisions. It’s simple – if you’re selfish enough to drink and drive, we will catch you.

“Every year, we warn people not to drive after drinking or taking drugs. And at this time of year every year, intoxicated drivers end up in our cells and in the courts, where they lose their licence and are hit with heavy fines, driving bans and even prison sentences.

“So this year, we’re aiming our drink drive message at a different group of motorists – people who’d never dream of drinking and driving.

“We hope law-abiding motorists can help us keep the roads safe by keeping an eye on friends when they’re out and about and stopping them taking to the road if they’re under the influence.

“We’d also encourage them to pass on information about drink or drug drivers by calling us on 101.”

The campaign is organised by 95 Alive, the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership made up of the County Council, Fire and Rescue Service, the Police, City of York Council, District Councils and Community Safety.

Police will be out in force, carrying out stop checks at all times of the day and night, including early mornings to detect those who are still over the limit from the night before.

They will also be targeting known offenders and key locations and carrying out awareness roadshows.