THERE are no excuses for drink or drug driving.

That's the message from West Yorkshire Police, who have launched their annual festive crackdown.

The force will be carrying out intensive enforcement on the region's roads throughout December.

And as part of the campaign, officers are sharing some of the excuses given by people arrested for driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

Chief Inspector James Farrar, head of the West Yorkshire roads policing unit, says: "This year’s campaign centres around ‘the 12 excuses of Christmas’ to highlight just some of the reasons that people come up with to try to justify driving over the limit.

"Common excuses include ‘I only had a couple’, ‘I wasn’t driving very far’ or ‘I haven’t had a drink since last night’.

"The consequences of drink or drug driving can include a fine, disqualification and even a prison sentence. But most importantly the outcome could be having to live with the knowledge that you have seriously injured, or even killed, an innocent person.

"My officers are experts in spotting the signs of people driving under the influence and will be relentless in continuing to stop every driver they suspect may be doing so."

In support of the initiative, members of the public are being encouraged to report anyone they suspect is regularly driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

There is a reporting form on the West Yorkshire Police website, or people can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers – anonymously – on 0800 555 111. If a crime is in progress or there is a danger to life, call 999. 

Also, the force is urging people who are struggling with issues around alcohol, drugs or other difficulties to seek support. It has teamed up with West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion, a service providing help to those with drink and drug problems who have come into contact with the criminal justice system.

West Yorkshire’s deputy mayor for policing and crime and chair of the Vision Zero board, Alison Lowe, says: "This latest campaign targeting drink and drug driving over the festive period plays a vital role in our partnership ambitions around Vision Zero.

"Our aim is to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, creating safer and healthier communities across West Yorkshire.

"Being under the influence can lead to deadly consequences, and excuses won’t change a single thing when the worst happens."