Arlington and Fairfax county police said yesterday that 43 persons have been arrested on drug charges as a result of investigations in both counties.

Lt. Arthur Christiansen, head of the Arlington vice and narcotics squad, said the 26 suspects arrested in his investigation were charged with 53 counts of distributing or conspiring to distribute cocaine, methamphetamines or PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, all felonies, and with two counts of distributing marijuana.

Christiansen said the undercover investigation was coordinated by Arlington police with the help of Fairfax, Alexandria and state police.

He said police believe the suspects were a loose-knit group of associates and not involved in a large-scale narcotics ring. Arrested were dancers, waitresses, bartenders and customers of the various establishments in Arlington and Fairfax County. Police identified the restaurants involved as the Crystal City Restaurant at 422 S. 23rd St. and the Village Grill Restaurant at 1713 Wilson Blvd., both in Arlington, and the 1320 Club in the Backlick Road Shopping Center and Fanny Hill's at 7415 Richmond Hwy., both in Fairfax County.

Fairfax County police said they arrested 17 other persons on 25 drug-related charges in a predawn sweep in the Vienna and Oakton areas. The arrests were the result of a three- month undercover investigation.

Most of the charges involve distribution of cocaine or PCP. Police said there was no indication of any formal organization among the individuals charged who ranged in age from 18 to 32.