Anti drink-drive campaign launched
Police have launched a major crackdown on drink-driving in a new winter campaign.
Operation Season's Greetings will see officers out on the roads with around 2,000 breathalysers.
Last year between November 25 and January 3 a total of 429 people were caught drink-driving, considerably higher than the 364 caught in the festive period of 2010-11.
PSNI superintendent Mark Purdon said: "During the winter drink-drive operation last year, we detected 429 people who took the risk of killing or injuring themselves, their family, friends and other innocent road users by deciding to drive after drinking.
"This figure was particularly disappointing but considering that some of these people were so drunk they could barely stand up, it just beggars belief that some people still insist on attempting to drive after drinking."
Of those caught, the majority (329) were men, while 59 women were found to be over the limit. The youngest person caught was a 16-year-old and the oldest was 76.
PSNI drink-drive detection squads will be out at all times of the day.
Mr Purdon said: "If you find yourself asking the question 'I wonder if I'm OK to drive?' or if you find yourself trying to calculate if you are under the drink-drive limit, whether that's after one drink or the morning after a night out, just don't take the risk. The consequences could be catastrophic.
"I do not want officers knocking on doors at any time of the year but especially over Christmas and the new year to tell families that a loved one has been killed on the roads."
Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "It can be tempting to take an unplanned drink, particularly at Christmas parties, and consider driving home. But even small amounts of alcohol impair driving. So thinking that you can have one drink and drive safely isn't realistic. Lives can change forever the moment drivers take a drink and decide to drive home."