POLICE in North Yorkshire have arrested 35 suspected drink drivers within two weeks of beer gardens reopening.

It represents a 75 per cent increase compared to this time last year.

Roads Policing Sergeant Andrew Morton said: “We’ve already encountered too many people who have ignored our warnings.

"Our message is simple – if you drink or drug drive, we will catch you.

“We have only just been allowed to start going to beer gardens again – don’t ruin this for yourself by losing your licence, getting a criminal record and driving ban, paying a heavy fine or going to prison.”

The arrest figures are comparable with pre-lockdown levels in 2019, when pubs were fully open.

A further 17 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drug driving offences – a slight reduction from the 20 arrested during the same period in 2020 and 19 arrested during the same period of 2019.

York represents the most arrests with 11, followed by Harrogate with eight and six each in Scarborough and Ryedale.

Hambleton and Richmond each saw four arrests.

North Yorkshire Police launched its “Be a hero, Stay at zero” campaign as beer gardens reopened earlier this month, in a bid to prevent drink driving.