Hundreds of arrests made in drink-drive clampdown – youngest aged 16

The annual Christmas drink-drive crackdown saw almost 400 arrests made
The annual Christmas drink-drive crackdown saw almost 400 arrests made

The PSNI made close to 400 arrests in little over a month during a drink-driving campaign late in 2015 and early 2016.

That equates to 114 extra arrests.

The news comes just days after a law was passed allowing for the drink-drive limit to be lowered.

Those held were under suspicion of being unfit to drive, or who were unable or refused to give a sample.

It also includes individuals who were caught on more than one occasion.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said in a statement: “When we launched this operation at the end of November, we warned drivers not to take the risk because Police are determined to catch drink drivers.

“While we have seen a huge increase in detections, it’s difficult to accept this situation as a success, we shouldn’t be detecting anyone drink driving.

“One person was detected at four times the drink drive limit, with a reading of 140 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath while the legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

“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.

“Every year across Northern Ireland, Drinking and driving kills, maims and wrecks families.

“Police will continue to detect people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or alcohol. We are again appealing for all motorists to consider the consequences of their actions.

“Think about the consequences to yourself and your family of being involved in a serious collision.

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

“Across Northern Ireland there are nearly 400 people who took the risk and they were caught.

“They are lucky to be looking forward to a court appearance where they will most likely lose their driving license for one or more years, be fined, and will have great difficulty in obtaining car insurance in the future.

“Many also risk losing their jobs or going to jail. The alternative consequences had they not been caught do not bear thinking about.”

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “Drink-driving has caused over 2,000 deaths and serious injuries since 2000.

“That is the shocking reality of mixing alcohol with driving.

“Given what we know about how dangerous it is to drive after drinking alcohol – it is disappointing that some drivers still choose to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car.

“Only last month, I launched a new anti-drink drive social media campaign to help raise awareness of the dangers of drink driving. The figures released today show that there is a need for a continuous effort and that we must not become complacent in our approach to road safety and dangerous behaviours on the road

“My message to all drivers is clear, any drink will impair your driving ability. I would urge everyone to play their part in persuading drivers to never ever drink and drive.”


Total detections – 396 (up from 282 last year)

Youngest person detected – 16 years of age

Oldest person detected – 83 years of age

325 Males – 71 Females detected

Highest reading 140mg (legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath).

4,231 Preliminary Breath Tests were carried out.