EXTRA police patrols will be on the roads over the next month as police clampdown on drink and drug driving in the run-up to Christmas.

Between 2012 and 2016, a total of 1,650 people were injured in collisions that involved a suspected drink-driver in the North East, including 38 people killed.

Chief Inspector Graham Milne of Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Extra patrols and roadside checks will be conducted in the run up to and over Christmas and New Year, to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drink or drug driving.

“It is worrying, that we push this message out every year, and still many reckless drivers ignore the warnings that cause devastating consequences.”

He added: “Tackling drink and drug drivers is a year-round commitment for us but we know that around the festive period, many people for whatever reason, decide to get in a car while drunk.

“Perhaps home is ‘just down the road’ from the pub, but you should never get in a car under the influence.”

During last year’s Christmas campaign, 116 drivers were arrested for being under the influence of alcohol and 57 for using drugs.