Belfast Telegraph

Teenager among 250 drink drivers

A teenager was among 250 people caught drink driving on Northern Ireland's roads in the first wave of detections by police in the run up to Christmas and the New Year, it was revealed.

Some motorists were so intoxicated they could hardly stand when asked to get out from behind the steering wheel, traffic branch officers said. Three were more than four times over the legal limit.

Head of road policing, Superintendent Muir Clark, said he was shocked and extremely disappointed. He added: "Despite our warnings, there are still people who completely disregard the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice."

The number detected or who refused to undergo medical and breath tests between November 25 and last Sunday was 28 more than in the same period in 2010. The teenager was aged 16 and 34 women are among the 250 now facing heavy fines and lengthy suspensions. One man is aged 72.

Supt Clark said more drivers will be caught over the legal limit in the next stage of the anti-drink driving offensive. Fifty-eight people have been killed on the roads so far this year, three more than this time last year.

He said: "The drivers detected with the highest alcohol readings have literally fallen out of their cars when they have been stopped, or been unable to stand at the roadside. There is absolutely no excuse for this.

"Drinking and driving kills, maims and wrecks families. Police will not tolerate people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or drink.

"All motorists should consider the consequences of their actions and think of the consequences to yourself and your family of being involved in a serious collision.

"How would you feel if your selfish actions resulted in you or one of your family being paralysed? How would you feel if some innocent person was killed?"

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