A DRINK driver has been banned from the roads for 17 months after he was caught almost twice the legal limit.

Mark Anthony King, of Great Ayton, is the first drink driver arrested during North Yorkshire Police’s Christmas campaign to be sentenced by the courts.

He was stopped while driving in Great Ayton at around 1.50pm on Tuesday, December 11 and he was breathalysed after an officer smelled alcohol. King blew 67mg/100ml when the legal limit is 35mg.

The 42-year-old pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared at Northallerton Magistrates’ Court today.

He was banned from driving for 17 months and fined £100 with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, Roads Policing Inspector Rich Champion said: “Unfortunately King’s case is the first of a number of drink and drug drive cases currently going through the courts.

“Every year, we try to hammer home the same messages to deter people from drink and drug driving. But every year we see a spike in the number of drivers arrested for these offences at this time of year.

“This year, we’re aiming our messages at people who might actually listen – decent, law-abiding people who’d never dream of driving under the influence. If this is you, please keep your friends and family safe this Christmas by keeping an eye on them on a night out and making sure they don’t get behind the wheel. If there’s any doubt in your mind that they could be unfit to drive, just order them a taxi.”

He added: “We’re out morning, noon and night taking drink and drug drivers off the roads. If you break the law, there’s a good chance you’ll be caught.

“We’re also publicising the name and photographs of convicted drivers such as King this year. We hope this will encourage people to think about the consequences of their actions while highlighting how the police and justice system deal with these offenders.”