A TOTAL of thirty-five suspected drink drivers have been arrested by North Yorkshire Police within a fortnight of beer gardens reopening.

Police said this represents a 75 per cent increase compared to this time last year and officers are concerned that so many people have ignored their advice and now face a court appearance.

York has the highest number of drink driving arrests since the pubs reopened on April 12 with a total of 11. Eight have been made in Harrogate, six in Scarborough, six in Ryedale, four in Hambleton, four in Richmond, three in Craven and three in Selby.

Road’s policing sergeant, Andrew Morton said: “We’ve already encountered too many people who have ignored our warnings. Our message is simple – if you drink or drug drive, we will catch you.

“We have only just been allowed to start going to beer gardens again – don’t ruin this for yourself by losing your licence, getting a criminal record and driving ban, paying a heavy fine or going to prison.”

The arrest figures are comparable with pre-lockdown levels in 2019, when pubs were fully open.

More than 20 of the 35 arrested since April 12 are due to appear in court shortly.

A further 17 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drug driving offences – a slight reduction from the 20 arrested during the same period in 2020 and 19 arrested during the same period of 2019.

North Yorkshire Police launched its 'Be a hero, Stay at zero' campaign as beer gardens reopened earlier this month, in a bid to prevent drink driving.

Sergeant Morton urged anyone with information about drink or drug driving to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, or if it’s happening now, call 999. Alternatively, you can report drink or drug drivers anonymously via Crimestoppers.