POLICE have seen a 75 per cent increase in the number of suspected drink drivers arrested within two weeks of beer gardens reopening.

A total of 35 people - including three in Craven - have been arrested across North Yorkshire, representing a 75 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

Officers say they are concerned that so many people have ignored their advice and now face a court appearance.

Roads 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.

Sgt Morton added: “We will be continuing to urge people to think about how they will get home and to use public transport or a designated driver”.

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

York has seen the highest number of arrests at 11, followed by Harrogate, 8; Scarborough, 6; Ryedale, 6; Hambleton, 4; Richmond, 4; Craven, 3, and Selby, 3.