POLICE have vowed to continue taking drink and drug drivers off North Yorkshire’s roads during 2019 following a “very encouraging” Christmas enforcement campaign.

The number of drink and drug drivers arrested across the county fell significantly this December compared to last, with lower average breathalyser readings and far fewer heavily-intoxicated drivers.

It suggests more motorists have taken heed of warnings, police said after the county-wide campaign drew to a close, but officers acknowledge there is still a lot of work to do to reduce numbers further.

Between December 1 and January 1, 123 motorists were arrested in North Yorkshire on suspicion of drink or drug driving offences.

This is a drop of 10 per cent on last year’s figures, when 137 arrests were made.

The average alcohol breathalyser reading dropped from 76mg/100ml last year to 64mg/100ml this year. The legal limit is 35mg.

And the number of suspects providing very high readings – more than three times over the legal drink drive limit – also fell significantly this year, from 13 in 2017 to just three in 2018. This reflects a reduction of 77 per cent.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “While there are many factors that influence the number of arrests we make, the across-the-board reduction in a number of key figures is very encouraging."

The combined length of driving bans given to the four drivers who have been sentenced so far is a total of 63 months. The arrests include three in Richmondshire, six in Hambleton, nine in Ryedale, 31 in York and 35 in Scarborough.