Jeremy Scott at leading Yorkshire legal firm Lupton Fawcett LLP reviews the 2019 Christmas Drink and Drug Drive campaign.

Last year’s campaign

The number of drink and drug drivers arrested across the county fell significantly in December 2018 compared to December 2017, with lower average breathalyser readings and far fewer heavily-intoxicated drivers.

Between 1 December 2018 and 1 January 2019, 123 drivers were arrested in North Yorkshire on suspicion of drink or drug driving offences.

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

Interestingly 86% of those arrested were men. Most of those arrests were in Scarborough (35), York (31) and Harrogate (20). The rest were scattered across the county.

This suggests drivers in York and the surrounding areas are taking heed of warnings, as well as being influenced, positively, by both national and local Christmas driving campaigns.

Drug driving

Nationally, this year there will also be a greater targeting of suspected drug-driving. Department for Transport statistics reveal that this is becoming a greater problem, as drug-driving crashes across Great Britain have doubled in five years.

It is illegal to drive if either you are unfit to do so due to being under the influence of illegal or certain legal drugs, or if you have certain levels of drugs in your blood even if they have not affected your driving.

The police can stop you and carry out an impairment test at the roadside to assess whether your driving ability has been hindered by taking drugs. A roadside drug kit can now be used by the police to screen for cannabis and cocaine.

If you fail the impairment test or the roadside drug test, the driver will be arrested and taken to a police station for further tests, possibly involving blood and urine.


If over the limit, you will be prosecuted and the consequences could include:

• Driving ban for at least 12 months and a large fine

• Prison sentence of up to six months

• Publicity

• Job loss

• Trouble getting into countries like the USA

• Huge increase in car insurance costs, and some companies won’t insure you

Jeremy said: “It is easy to underestimate how much alcohol remains in your system the morning after. It is far safer not to drive the day after a big night out. Residues from some drugs can stay in your system for days or weeks, so you should not be driving after consuming such drugs”

If you find yourself in difficulties, contact one of our road traffic experts Jeremy Scott or Donald Maloney 24/7 who can be contacted at Lupton Fawcett on 07971 520407 or at