A SOBERING warning has gone out to road users after an alarming number of motorists were found drink-driving.

Between last Friday and Saturday, eight people were arrested in Stockton following positive roadside tests and a ninth driver was arrested on Sunday.

Acting Superintendent Ray Morton, of Cleveland Police, said: "This was not a planned operation. Officers in panda cars were simply conducting checks and these drivers were caught out.

"They were just going about their job when they came across these people, and I find that quite disturbing.

"It astounded me that so many people could be arrested in quite a tight area. Nine people in one weekend is extremely high.''

Concerned that there could be a large number of drink drivers, Acting Supt Morton said crackdowns on drink-driving were not only held over the Christmas period.

With the festive holidays over, police believe many people may think that pressure to target them is off.

Acting Supt Morton said: "Our campaign to rid the roads of people who drink and drive is not seasonal, it is continuous. Those that take that risk, risk being caught, and the consequences are severe.

"Not only will they lose their licences, they face a heavy fine and for some, their jobs could be in jeopardy. They should ask themselves 'is that drink worth it?'

"There are people who quite obviously think we are not enforcing the law on drink-driving, but I think those are a hardcore.''

He added: "The campaign is 12 months a year and 24 hours each day.

"People who drink and drive put their lives and the lives of others on the line. They are a danger not only to other road users, but to everyone else who is on the streets.

"Our officers will be out and about as usual this weekend and the rest of the week, and drivers who take a risk and drink should be aware they face being locked up."