Police are warning motorists about the dangers of driving the morning after the night before.
Research carried by road safety charity Brake found that more than half of young drivers and over a third of older motorists are risking lives by driving first thing in the morning after drinking a lot the night before.
Officers are warning all motorists to ‘think before they drink’ if they are planning to drive the next day.
Motor Patrols Chief Inspector George Maratty said: “We are making arrests for drink driving where the offenders haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since the night before.
“We hear the same story time and time again that the person who has been caught driving over the limit had a few drinks the night before but thought they would be fine the next morning.
“This assumption is a costly one and is plainly wrong. People think that sleeping, eating something or drinking coffee helps sober you up however the only thing that gets rid of the alcohol in your system is time.
“On the run up to Christmas people will be socialising more and attending work parties and events, and are more likely to be having a drink. If you know you have to drive the next day then think before you drink and moderate yourself.
“Research has shown that someone that drinks four pints of lager should not drive for at least 13 hours from finishing their last pint. If you finish at midnight, you may not be safe to drive until after 1pm the next day.
“Bear this in mind and know that the extra pint of beer or glass of wine could be the difference in you being arrested, fined or being involved in a crash the next day.”
Since December 1 the force has been running a month-long crackdown on drink driving and all drivers involved in crashes during December will be breath tested, as well as those who have committed a moving road traffic offence such as speeding and people suspected of drink driving or attempting to drive after consuming alcohol.
The campaign is running in tandem with a national Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) initiative, as well as a Europe-wide TIPSOL alcohol and drug driving campaign from December 10 to 16.
Anyone who suspects anyone of drink driving should contact Northumbria Police Road Safety Unit on 101 ext 69191 or 999 in an emergency.