Police drink-driving blitz sees 500 tested across Sunderland, Newcastle and Northumbria force area

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POLICE stopped and tested more than 500 North-East drivers during a month-long crackdown on drink-driving.

The Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) Summer Drink-Driving Campaign ran throughout June.

As part of the campaign, Northumbria officers were conducting roadside checks, testing any drivers suspected of drink or drug-driving and targeting known drink drivers.

The operation showed a slight increase in the number of people who either failed a breath test, refused to take one or failed to provide a sample – compared to the same period last year.

Motor Patrols Chief Inspector George Maratty said: “It is positive that our message is getting across to the majority of motorists that drink-driving will not be tolerated.

“However, it is also disappointing to see that a minority are still choosing to risk their lives and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel when they are under the influence.

“Those who have failed breathalyser tests face a minimum of a year’s driving ban, a fine and big hikes in insurance premiums – and it all could have been avoided if they had made sensible plans such as booking a taxi or nominating a designated driver.

“Although the campaign may have finished, we’ll continue to target those we suspect of drink-driving.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC added: “I welcome the pro-active stance police are taking against drink-drivers.

“It is always disappointing that in this day and age anyone would even consider drinking and driving.

“The risks to pedestrians, other road users and the drink drivers themselves are known to everyone.

She added: “Those who have provided positive tests will now find their lives changed forever because of their actions.”