The PSNI have released figures showing a worrying increase in drink-driving in the build-up to Christmas.
The number of drivers and motorcyclists detected drink driving during the first two weeks of the PSNI’s winter anti-drink drive campaign is up by just over 42%,.
According to preliminary figures released today, 104 drink drivers were detected between November 26 and December 9, This is 31 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.
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.
“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?
“Particularly, as we approach one of the busiest weekends for socialising, people need to think ahead and plan how to get home with just as much care as they put into planning where to go and what to wear. People out for the night should get a lift home with a non-drinking friend or family member, or a licensed taxi driver.
“Already this year, 70 people have been killed in collisions on roads across Northern Ireland and many more have been seriously injured. 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, 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.
“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,” Assistant Chief Constable Todd said.