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NORTHUMBRIA Police are warning of the consequences of drink-driving this Christmas.

The force has launched a month-long crackdown on motorists who risk their lives and others’ lives by getting behind the wheel when they are under the influence.

The campaign will run in tandem with a national ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) initiative.

Dedicated teams of officers from the roads safety and roads policing units will be carrying out additional breath tests alongside their normal observations of motorists.

They will work closely with neighbourhood teams to conduct intelligence-led patrols to target those suspected of drink-driving.

Inspector Dave Guthrie said: “The message is simple: Be responsible and don’t drink or take drugs before driving.

“It’s very tempting at this time of year with all the festivities to get behind the wheel when you’ve had a drink, but the potential consequences could be devastating.”

During last year’s Christmas campaign, more than 1,300 drivers were breathalysed and just over six per cent of those failed or refused to take the test.