POLICE arrested almost five drink drivers per day in December as part of a crackdown on drink driving.
A month-long operation by Northumbria Police saw 146 drink drivers arrested by officers at various locations throughout the force area.
Of the 146 arrested on suspicion of drink driving, 101 have been charged or summonsed with offences and will be appearing at court.
Sunderland behind only Newcastle and the entirety of Northumberland, with 16 men and three women found to be over the legal limit while drinking.
Officers have pledged to continue targeting drink drivers throughout 2014, taking firm action against anyone found drunk behind the wheel.
Motor Patrols Chief Inspector George Maratty said: “Drink driving costs and ruins lives and although we ran this specific operation during December we will continue to pro-actively target drink drivers and get as many of them off the roads and in front of the courts as possible.
“We need the public’s help to keep drink drivers off the roads and they must tell us about anyone they think might be over the limit and behind the wheel.
“We take reports of drink drivers extremely seriously and a call reporting a driver who is over the limit could be saving lives on the roads.
“We will always act on information passed to us as it could be the difference between life and death and anyone who sees a driver who they think has consumed too much alcohol to drive is urged to report them to police straight away.”
During the operation, officers carried out roadside breath tests on all drivers involved in crashes during December, all drivers caught committing moving road traffic offences (such as speeding) and anyone suspected of drink driving or attempting to drive after consuming alcohol.
Chief Insp Maratty said: “Thanks to the work done in December 146, dangerous drivers are now off the roads and are facing driving bans, fines and even jail sentences. This should be a warning to anyone that drinks and drives that it’s not worth the risk.”
Anyone who suspects anyone of drink driving should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 or 999 in an emergency.
Anyone caught drink driving will be banned from the road for at least 12months, fined up to £5,000 and could face starting being jailed.
Drivers charged or summonsed as a result of the crackdown:
Sunderland: Men – 16, women – 3
S Tyneside: Men – 10, women – 0
Gateshead: Men – 13, women – 2
N Tyneside: Men – 12, women – 2
Newcastle: Men – 18, women – 5
Northumberland: Men – 15, women – 5
Total: Men – 84, women – 17