Belfast Telegraph

Police arrest 104 motorists in festive drink-drive crackdown

By Laura Abernethy

The number of drink-drivers detected by police is up 42% this winter.

Figures released yesterday revealed that 104 drink-drivers were detected between November 26 and December 9 - some 31 more than last year. This figure includes motorists who were unfit to drive or who were unable or refused to give a sample.

Commenting on the figures, PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: "When we launched this operation at the end of last month, we warned drivers not to take the risk because police would be redoubling efforts to prevent and detect people drink-driving.

"While we have tested and detected more people, 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, there are still people who completely disregard the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice.

"Every year across Northern Ireland, drinking and driving kills, maims and wrecks families. Police will not tolerate people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or drink. We are again appealing for all motorists to consider the consequences of their actions."

Almost 70 people have been killed on Northern Ireland's roads this year and Mr Todd has appealed to drivers to plan ahead as we approach one of the busiest weekends for socialising.

"I do not want police officers knocking on any more doors this year to tell families that a loved one has been killed in a collision," he said. "While our high-profile series of roads policing operations will continue to target drink drivers, the sad reality is that more people will be caught drink-driving during this campaign.

"Drink and drive and at best, like the 104 people detected so far, you are likely to be caught, arrested and brought before the courts. You will almost certainly lose your licence for one or more years, will be fined, and will have great difficulty in obtaining car insurance in the future and could risk losing your job.

"If you're involved in a collision where someone is killed or seriously injured, you risk going to jail."

He added: "We are appealing for everyone to support our campaign and stay safe on the roads. Everyone has the responsibility to wear a seatbelt, reduce their speed, take greater care and attention, and never, ever drink and drive."

Belfast Telegraph


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