MORNING motorists still under the influence of drink after a night out are to be the focus of this year’s Cumbria police Christmas drink-drive campaign.

Young male motorists will also be a target as the crackdown gets into gear this week – with stop checks across the county.

Last year, 3,345 breath tests were carried out in Cumbria over the festive season, resulting in 96 people – 76 men and 20 women – either failing or refusing a test. Thirty per cent of them were aged under 25.

Sgt Joanne Walker, from the roads policing unit, said: “We dedicate resources to this cam-paign each year and aim to catch anyone who drives while under the influence.

“The aim is to save lives. Driving when under the influence of drink or drugs impairs your capability and can result in death.

“In the run-up to Christmas, people are planning parties, going out with colleagues, friends and families and enjoying themselves – we want people to include planning how they are going to get home.

,“If you are in a group then the cost of a taxi will be minimal.

“If you are a dedicated driver, make sure you don’t drink, and if you are tempted then make other arrangements.”

Sgt Walker added that traffic officers had seen a slight increase in the number of people under the influence of alcohol found driving the following day.

“Everyone is different and people know how they feel after a night out,” said Sgt Walker. “Take responsibility. If you know that you will be having a lot to drink then make arrangements for travel the following day. “Don’t take any risk, it is not just your life you are putting in danger but the lives of other road users.

“We will be targeting young male drivers, who appear to be the biggest contributing factor of drink-drivers around this time of year.”

Chris Broadbent, from the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership, said: “This is a vital campaign which we support every year.

“It is shocking that there are still people who will get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence and put not only their own lives in danger, but the lives of others. The message is simple – never drink and drive.”

The campaign will run from December 1 to 31 and will feature on police social media campaigns with key messages and information updates posted on Facebook and Twitter.