WEST Yorkshire Police recorded the second highest number of arrests for drink driving in the United Kingdom, figures have revealed.

WYP recorded 2,571 drink drive arrests over a 12-month period, with only the Police Service of Northern Ireland finishing about it on 3,063.

Meanwhile, WYP finished in fourth place for drug driving arrests, with 423. This compared to Greater Manchester Police, which finished top with 742.

WYP was fourth for the number of arrests per 1,000 people, with 1.22 and 2,571 arrests.

The figures, for between June 1, 2016, and June 30, last year, came from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, with 17 out of 47 police forces replying to the drink driving request, while 18 of the 47 police forces replied to the drug driving request.

Sergeant Gary Roper, of WYP’s Roads Policing Support Unit, said: “Drug driving is an issue we have been working hard to address through education and enforcement as it is an act which can ruin and even end lives.

“Over the past few months we have increased the number of staff who can test for drug drive and ensure that all of our new recruits are trained during their foundation period.

“This means we now have our highest ever number of officers deployed in our communities who are equipped to catch those suspected of committing this offence.

‘‘Each year we stop hundreds of people who are clearly not in a fit state to drive through drink or drugs, and I want to make it very clear to drivers that the penalties to all concerned if they drug drive can be huge.

“They can face losing their licence and a prison sentence and the consequences to an innocent person if they cause an accident can be devastating.

“We want to hammer home the message that on a daily basis people across West Yorkshire are risking theirs and other people's lives and that drink or drug driving has extremely serious consequences.’’

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Road safety is a priority for me and West Yorkshire Police work extremely hard to keep our roads safe and stop drink and drug drivers before they cause harm.

“The budget I set recently also means that we can continue to recruit staff to help in preventing these issues through education and responding with action where incidents do take place.

“At the end of the day the consequences of driving whilst unfit far out way any benefit an individual may see and it's simply not worth the risk. 

"Anyone considering driving whilst under the influence of drink and drugs should be warned that WYP will not tolerate it and neither will the vast majority of our communities.”