More than 5,000 people were arrested for drug or drink driving in Greater Manchester last year.

Motorists prepared to take a risk over the festive period have been warned there is no safe level of booze or drug use before getting behind the wheel.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said 5,079 people were arrested on the city region’s roads while over the limit in 2022, with the highest figure coming in December when 536 errant drivers found themselves being taken into custody.

The shocking figures come as three times as many people are being arrested for drug driving than drinking and driving.

Speaking at the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Bee Network committee, chief inspector Michael Parker told members of the increasing prevalence of drug driving.

He said: “Drug driving is a massive problem, it now exceeds drink driving, probably by a three to one basis.

“Drink driving is now socially unacceptable. It took a long period of education to get to that. But we’ve not a that period of education for drug driving yet.

“You’ll stop people in the streets and as them if they’ve had a drink and they’ll say ‘no I don’t do anything like that – I just smoke weed’. Cannabis stays in the system for a lot longer.

“It will stay in the system and affect someone’s ability to drive for seven days – cocaine is a couple of days. Drug driving is more of a serious problem than drink driving now.”

TfGM are continuing the Your Car Can’t Say No campaign, which was launched in the summer. It offers a unique perspective on the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Videos released as part of the campaign shows two people leaving Christmas parties after drinking or taking drugs and approaching their car which has taken the form of a person.

A back-and-forth conversation ensues which sees the driver ignore their car’s advice before "getting behind the wheel" by jumping on their back and being brought sharply back to reality having crashed their car into an inflatable Father Christmas or Christmas tree.

While the videos show the driver crashing into an inflatable Father Christmas and tree, there can be a real human cost to drink or drug driving.

Peter Boulton, TfGM’s head of highways, said: “Someone driving over the drink driving limit, or driving under the influence of drug, is not only breaking

the law but can also put their own lives – and the lives of others – at risk.

“I hope this campaign encourages people thinking of having a drink to leave their car at home and stay safe because it’s more likely they will get caught, or harm themselves and others. It’s just not worth the risk.

“While the campaign videos are intentionally light-hearted, there can be a real human cost to drink or drug driving.

“This is even more poignant over Christmas when people come together with their friends and families.

"Don’t be the reason why someone’s loved one is not around the table on Christmas Day.”

There has been a significant increase in arrests for drink and drug driving in Greater Manchester, and offenders are now much more likely to get caught.

Between 2018 and 2022, a total of 245 people were killed or seriously injured on Greater Manchester’s roads in incidents involving a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Most of the people killed or injured – 60 per cent – were drivers or passengers, but pedestrians are also seriously at risk, making up 15 per cent of the casualties. In 2022 police arrested 536 people for drink and drug driving offences in December – the highest across the entire year, and 53 per cent higher compared to the number of arrests in January.

Month-by-month breakdown of the number of people arrested for a drink or drug drive offence in Greater Manchester in 2022:

January – 350

February – 302

March – 374

April – 356

May – 387

June – 406

July – 413

August – 481

September – 502

October- 463

November – 509

December – 536