POLICE say the number of people caught drink driving this Christmas has been "shocking and astounding".

Operation Attention is North Yorkshire Police's annual crackdown on drink and drug driving in the festive period, and ran between Friday, December 1, and Monday, January 1, and saw 137 drivers arrested in that period.

A spokeswoman said this was exactly the same number of arrests made in the Christmas 2016 campaign, and an increase of 13 on Christmas 2015.

In total, 83 arrests were made for drink driving and 54 for drug driving, while 117 of those arrested were men and 20 were women. The highest number of arrests were made in Harrogate (29), with 28 arrests made in York and 24 in Scarborough, and a third of the arrests made were after a road traffic collision (46 arrests.)

Sergeant Andy Morton of the Roads Policing Group said: "The dangers of drink and drug driving are widely known and across the Christmas period we issue numerous warnings and deterrent messages to drivers, to both highlight the dangers of driving over the limit and make them well aware that police are patrolling the roads.

"That’s why it is both shocking and astounding to see that some still choose to ignore the warnings and not only risk arrest and prosecution, but the physical safety of themselves and other road users."

The highest breathalyser reading of the campaign was 141 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, provided by a 41-year-old woman arrested in the Thirsk area on December 11 at about 5pm. She later pleaded guilty before magistrates and received a 36-month driving ban, was ordered to pay £200 costs and was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

In total, 15 drivers arrested provided breathalyser readings of over 100 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, meaning 11 per cent of those arrested were in excess of two and a half times the legal limit of 35mg per 100ml.