Belfast Telegraph

Motorist five times over limit among 270 caught in festive drink-drive crackdown

By Chris Kilpatrick

Five times more men than women were caught drink-driving over the festive period - with one motorist found to be almost five times over the limit.

The PSNI caught 270 people drink-driving between the end of November and start of this month, a slight increase compared to last Christmas. A senior police officer described getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol as "shameful and incredibly dangerous".

The youngest person caught by the PSNI was 17 and the oldest 71.

Men accounted for 226 of the 270 detected. The figures include motorists who were unfit to drive, or who were unable or refused to give a sample.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: "While the number of detections is slightly higher than last year, it's difficult to accept this situation as a success - we shouldn't be detecting anyone drink driving.

"It's disappointing that despite our warnings, a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice.

"One person was detected at nearly five times the drink-drive limit, with a reading of 171 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath, while the legal limit is 35 micrograms."

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "My Road Traffic Amendment Bill will introduce lower drink-drive limits, plans for random breathalyser testing, a new penalty regime and powers for roadside checkpoints."

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