More than 40 motorists were arrested on suspicion of either drink or drug driving in west Cumbria during the Christmas operation to keep the county’s roads safe.

Officers carried out hundreds of breath tests between December 1 and January 2 in this part of the county as Cumbria Constabulary targeted these offences.

The operation saw police tackle an issue the public regularly raise as a key concern – driving offences.

Officers carried out stop checks and tested drivers suspected of being over-the-limit.

As well as drink driving, officers also checked for drug driving, with a roadside drugs wipe testing a person’s saliva to find if they have taken drugs before getting behind the wheel.

Superintendent Carl Patrick said: “The public regularly raise concerns about driving and people committing traffic offences.

“Police officers and special constables in west Cumbria should be rightly proud of their contribution to tackling this issue.

“Thousands of vehicles have been stop-checked and hundreds of drivers breath tested, which resulted in 42 people being arrested for either drink or drug driving.

“While it is disappointing so many people drove in a condition that placed other road users and themselves at risk, what was really pleasing was we caught 42 of them.”

Supt Patrick added he was keen for the public to know that police take these crimes seriously.

“We will do all we can to keep the roads safe,” he added.

“Those tempted to drink drive or drive under the influence of drugs should take notice of the number of drivers we tested.

“If you think you can risk driving after a few drinks, then think again.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Drink driving is a serious offence and one of the biggest killers on our roads.

“By drink driving, you are not only putting yourself at risk but also other road users – it’s a selfish and dangerous act and it will not be tolerated here in Cumbria.

“The Constabulary did a fantastic job over the festive period, as they do year-round, and I hope the 42 motorists that were caught under the influence have learned that there are consequences for their actions.

“The festive period might be over but I would like to remind the public not to drink or drug drive – if you want a drink make sure you have a designated sober driver or you have an alternative way home.”