Motorists who operate vehicles while exceeding legal limits or while influenced by substances are receiving a cautionary message as West Yorkshire Police initiates an intensified enforcement period during the upcoming summer vacation.

Aligned with the National Police Chief’s Council’s campaign against summer drink and drug driving, slated from August 21 to 27, West Yorkshire Police is proactively participating, commencing even earlier on August 14.

As an integral facet of this initiative, drivers are being alerted to the perils associated with driving under the influence of nitrous oxide, a concern gaining traction on a national scale. Notably, West Yorkshire has witnessed several inquiries stemming from accidents where drivers purportedly engaged with nitrous oxide.

Inspector Chris Robinson, of West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “On average, there are over 8,680 serious injury or fatal collisions on our UK roads each year where drivers involved are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We know people think they’re good drivers and it won’t happen to them, but that’s also what others have thought who have ended up in our cells, in hospital or worse.

“That few pints at a BBQ or in a pub garden will affect you more than you realise, especially if it is a hot day. There are reasons why there are legal limits in place, but the reality is that the safest option is to not drink or take drugs at all if you need to drive. If you know you are going to be drinking or taking drugs, then you should check public transport options or arrange a lift or taxi.

“It is also important to note the dangers of driving the morning after a night of drinking or taking drugs. Our officers are out day and night patrolling our roads and responding to reports of potential drink or drug drivers.

“An emerging issue that is also being seen is the use of nitrous oxide by motorists. There has been a case elsewhere in the country where its use was linked to a fatal collision. Anything that impairs your judgment can be extremely dangerous on our roads and our officers will take action if there is a suggestion that someone is putting themselves or others at risk by driving dangerously or without due care and attention.”

“We all need to work together to keep our roads safe. If you witness a crime in progress, then you should phone 999 immediately. If you have information about someone you think has committed a drink or drug driving offence, then you can report it online or by calling 101.”