TWO dozen Barnsley residents were arrested and charged by officers over the festive period for reportedly driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, shocking new figures have revealed.

Across South Yorkshire, officers from across the county arrested and charged 118 drivers for driving while over the limit of alcohol, drugs or failing to provide a sample.

A total of 17 locals were arrested for drink-driving, four were arrested for drug-driving and a further three were processed for failing to provide a sample.

It comes after an increased police presence on the roads due to drivers being ‘more likely to take risks and get behind the wheel’ over the festive season.

Officers said that no amount of alcohol in your system is safe and the effects of drink and drugs can have devastating consequences.

Within 24 hours of testing positive you can be charged and appear before the courts.

Inspector Matt Collings said: “We had an extremely busy December, and unfortunately witnessed the dangers of driving and using the roads can bring with our attendance at fatalities and serious collisions.

“Our passion remains to create safer roads for all road users and intercept those who use our road network to commit criminality.

“For some of those arrested during the month, their lives will significantly now change, they could potentially lose their jobs, their families and face an unlimited fine or driving ban when they appear before court.

“No amount of alcohol or drugs are safe and getting behind the wheel after consuming either is a selfish act that will not be tolerated across South Yorkshire.”

Officers urged anyone who believes someone is breaking the law and putting other road users at risk to get in touch as soon as possible.

“We know majority of drivers are careful and cautious and would never dream of getting behind the wheel and driving while unfit and we appreciate your commitment to helping us create safer roads,” Insp Collings said.

“We are on duty every day and every night, but we cannot be everywhere so if you believe someone is posing a risk to other road users, please contact us via 101 or in an emergency 999.”

It comes after one in ten drivers were found to be over the drink-drive limit on local roads in December 2022.

Simon Dunker, area manager for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “If you’re having a drink, leave the car at home - book a taxi, use public transport or agree on a designated driver.

“The last thing our officers want, is to be cutting you out of a crashed car and telling loved ones you are not coming home.

“Driving under the influence of drink or drugs puts lives at risk.

“The message is simple - have none for the road.”