Hundreds of people have been arrested and charged for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it has been revealed, as police forces across the country start to publish the results of their Christmas clampdowns.

Campaigns were launched by police forces across the country on 01 December 2015 in a bid to prevent an increase in drink driving offences over the festive period, including the ‘where will you end up tonight?’ campaign by Thames Valley Police and ‘dob in a drink or drug driver’ by West Yorkshire Police.

This week, Thames Valley Police reported that it saw nearly a 20% increase in the number of drink or drug driving arrests compared with December 2014, from 273 people to 325 people.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Unit worked with the newly formed Road Casualty Reduction Team and Crimestoppers, who stopped 3,349 drivers of cars, vans, lorries and motorcycles during the month of December. In Suffolk, 172 drivers failed the test and 90 failed it in Norfolk.

Further north, West Yorkshire Police charged 155 people over the course of the month, down from 183 people who were charged with drink driving offences during the same period in 2014. The highest proportion of offences came from those between the ages of 25 - 34.

Gerard Stilliard, head of personal injury strategy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal but deeply anti-social. It not only puts the driver’s safety at risk and those of any passengers, but the chances of devastating repercussions for the lives of innocent bystanders are hugely increased.

“Arrests and appropriate punishments for those who are caught flouting the law are vital to act as a deterrent to other drivers tempted to get behind the wheel. At Christmas there is always a particular emphasis by the police on catching those who recklessly take their lives and those of others in their hands but the police need sufficient resources to run high profile drink and drug driving campaigns throughout the year and that needs adequate government funding commitments not more cuts.”