MOTORISTS in North Yorkshire are being encouraged to do a very simple good deed this Christmas – volunteer to be a designated driver.

The message is part of the county’s Christmas campaign to reduce drink and drug driving, which is being launched this week.

Police are encouraging people to be designated drivers both during a night out with friends or colleagues, or to help them get to work the morning after a big night, then asking their friends to return the favour.

That way, everyone gets a night out and no one gets arrested.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “While some people we encounter simply don’t care whether they break the law, others have gone out with the intention of ‘just having one’, but the atmosphere or peer pressure gets the better of them.

“We also arrest a lot of people the morning after a heavy session, and many are mortified to learn they’re still over the limit.

“As this is the season of goodwill, we’re asking motorists in North Yorkshire to do their good deed this Christmas.

"Good friends look out for each other."

North Yorkshire Police arrested 123 suspected drink and drug drivers last December.

Many received driving bans of more than a year and were fined hundreds of pounds. Magistrates also gave community orders and suspended sentences to a handful of offenders.

All those who were banned also face sky-high insurance premiums when their disqualification expires.

Dave Winspear of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We often attend serious road traffic collisions where alcohol has been involved.

"We encourage everyone to have alternative arrangements to get home from any event where they’ve had an alcoholic drink."

North Yorkshire Police will be conducting random roadside checks across the entire county throughout December.

They will also be gathering intelligence about repeat offenders and targeting them.