Preliminary winter drink drive figures up

The number of drivers and motorcyclists detected drink driving during the first weeks of this year’s winter anti-drink driving campaign has increased.

156 drink drivers were detected between 28 November and 19 December, 22 more than during the same period last year. This figure includes motorists who were unfit to drive, or who were unable or refused to give a sample.

The youngest person detected was 16 years of age and the oldest, 76 years of age. During the period, 124 males and 32 females have been detected.

Speaking about the figures, Head of Operational Support Department David Moore said: “I am shocked and disappointed that despite our warnings, there are still people who completely disregard the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful, stupid 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. We’re also appealing to passengers

“Think about 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?

“Already this year, 54 people have been killed in collisions on roads across Northern Ireland. 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.

“While our high profile series of roads policing operations will continue to target drink drivers day and night throughout the coming weeks, the sad reality is that more people will be caught drink driving during this campaign.

“Drink and drive and at best, 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. You also risk losing your job or going to jail.

“We are appealing for everyone to support our campaign and stay safe on the roads. “