Drivers warned not to drink-drive this Christmas

Police are warning Whitby drivers this month of the devastating consequences of getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

Thursday, 8th December 2016, 1:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:37 pm
Paul Long with Lorraine Allaway who lost her husband after he was killed in a drink driving accident. Picture: Richard Ponter.

North Yorkshire Police’s 95 Alive Christmas drink and drug driving campaign is targeting drivers to think before they act during the festive period.

The force has arrested 29 people in the opening four days of the campaign, launched on December 1, in relation to drink and drug driving related offences.

In the same period last year the force arrested only nine people which traffic sergeant Andrew Morton of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group said he has mixed emotions about.

He said: “It is great news that we are catching these people but it saddens me that so many people are choosing to go out and drive while under the influence. It is a selfish act and ultimately people need to realise the cost that can have. It comes down to the impact on the families of both parties involved and then to the emergency services.”

Lorraine Allaway, 59, was left heartbroken after her husband Bob died when he was hit head-on by a drunk driver in October 2015 while driving his motorcycle near Settle.

The driver, Andrew Crook, 48 from Leeds, was jailed for four years and eight months and banned from driving for five years and eight months.

A roadside breath test revealed Crook, of Swinnow in Leeds, had a reading of 83 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – nearly two-and-a-half times the legal limit, which is 35 microgrammes per 100ml.

Crook had driven his vehicle across double, solid white lines onto the wrong side of the road and collided head on with Bob. Lorraine said: “I will never forgive the driver. Justice has not been done. The devastation it has caused me and the rest of our family and friends will be with us for the rest of our lives. If I can stop one person from getting behind the wheel after they have been drinking or taking drugs, and causing the devastation that my family have experienced, then I’ll be happy.”

Traffic sergeant Morton urged drivers to think responsibly this festive season, he said: “If you kill someone you risk getting a jail sentence, or leaving the scene in the back of a hearse.”