MOTORISTS are being warned to cool off on alcohol as a summer crackdown on drink-drivers is launched.
Police are urging drivers to think twice about getting behind the wheel after having a drink or face being banned from the roads.
With Euro 2012 kicking off this week and the Olympics hot on its heels, boozing is expected to be on the up as people visit pubs to watch the games.
Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: “Northumbria Police will not tolerate drink-driving.
“We are committed to doing all we can to put a stop to it and throughout June any motorist stopped at any time by a police officer could be required to provide a specimen of breath or take a drug test.
“We know that the vast majority of drivers are sensible and know their limits but we will be targeting those who decide to chance it and take a risk.
“Anyone found in control of a car and over the limit will be arrested and action taken against them.
“We don’t want to stop people enjoying their summer but our message is very clear – if you are having a drink then leave the car at home.
“Motorists should plan ahead and if you know you’re going to be having a drink then make arrangements to get home in advance.
“Book a taxi or nominate a designated driver and avoid the temptation of getting behind the wheel while under the influence.”
As part of the campaign by Northumbria and Durham police, which forms part of a national initiative throughout June, roadside checks will be stepped up and known drink- drivers will be targeted by police.
Inspector Ken Cook, of Durham police, said: “This summer, someone somewhere will lose a loved one to a drink or drug-related road traffic collision and we want to ensure that doesn’t happen in our region.
“We are urging drivers not to take the risk. Don’t drink or take drugs and drive this summer.
“We work all year round to try to get the message across, but the next few months presents additional challenges, with the focus being on a summer of sport.
“We have the European football championships and of course the Olympic Games as well as other major sporting events.
“Many of these will be televised at pubs throughout our region, where friends will meet and enjoy a social drink.”
DRIVERS who fail a drink or drug test face a minimum one-year driving ban, a fine and a huge increase in insurance premiums.
Between January and the end of March this year, Northumbria Police arrested 489 people on suspicion of drink or drug-related driving offences.
They breathalysed 2,439 people for alcohol, with a total of 337, or 14 per cent, failing the test or refusing to take it.