Drink and drug drive campaign nets 459 arrests in 6 week purge


West Yorkshire Police said in a statement released on 4th January, 2023 that they made more than 450 arrests as part of their festive crackdown on drink and drug drivers.

In support of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s drink and drug drive operation, WYP carried out increased enforcement activity on drink and drug drivers on West Yorkshire’s roads from 20th November, 2022, to 1st January, 2023.

The force also ran its own awareness campaign titled ‘The Cost’ which aimed to highlight the consequences of being convicted of a drink or drug driving offence. This could be losing your licence, car, job, spending Christmas in a cell and in the worst-case scenario having to live with the knowledge that you have seriously injured or killed someone.

Throughout the campaign, WYP conducted video interviews with two victims of collisions who explained the long-lasting impact it has had on them. One of the videos was with member of the public Tanya Palmer and the other was with PC Stephen Wales, a serving police officer based at Normanton station. 

Tanya Palmer was involved in a collision with a suspected drink driver in April 2021 when she was 22-weeks pregnant. The driver involved was convicted of failing to provide a specimen for analysis for alcohol or drugs and jailed for twelve months and banned from driving for three-and-a-half years.

PC Stephen Wales was one of three victims involved a road traffic collision, whilst on duty dealing with an incident, with a drink driver in July 2021. Stephen sustained serious and life-changing injuries. The driver of the vehicle involved was sentenced to three years, eight months imprisonment and a lengthy driving ban.

WYP also published a video covering the sentencing of Daniel Crawshaw, a driver who got behind the wheel after a seven-hour drinking session, killing one passenger in his vehicle, and seriously injuring another. Crawshaw was sentenced to eight and a half years imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He will also be disqualified from driving for two years on his release.

During the six week operation, 459 arrests were made across West Yorkshire for drink or drug driving offences. This included 271 arrests for drink driving, 168 arrests for drug driving and 20 arrests for failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. 

This compared to 221 arrests for drink driving, 95 arrests for drug driving and 19 arrests for failing to provide a sample during last year’s shorter campaign, which ran from 1st December, 2021, to 1st January, 2022. Thus making year-on-year comparisons difficult.

West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit work all year round to enforce the fatal five and keep the roads of West Yorkshire safe. You can find out more about their work by following them on Twitter.

Page last updated Thursday 5th January, 2022 at 0820hrs

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Picture credits: WYP

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© Neil Wilby 2015-2023. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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