The number of drivers and motorcyclists detected drink driving during the 2017/18 winter anti-drink drive operation has increased by 15.5%, compared to the same period last year.
According to preliminary figures released today, 357 drink drivers were arrested between 1 December 2017 and 1 January 2018, 48 more than during the same period in 2016/17.
Commenting on the figures, Inspector Rosie Leech said, “When we launched this operation at the start of December, we warned drivers not to take the risk because just one drink can impair your decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.
“We tested over 13,000 people during the operation – an increase of over 16% in the number of preliminary roadside breath tests compared with the previous operation.
“We arrested 357 people who failed those tests. Each of those people are now facing the stark reality 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 even going to jail. The alternative consequences had they not been caught do not bear thinking about.
“One person was detected at nearly four times the drink drive limit, with a reading of 133 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath while the legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
“We shouldn’t be detecting people driving with any alcohol in their system. It’s disappointing that despite our continued warnings, the publicity and media coverage generated by this policing operation, that a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice.
“Police will continue to use all the powers and legislation at our disposal, including the authorised checkpoints, to detect people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or alcohol. All motorists need to consider the consequences of their actions. Never take the risk of having even one drink if you are driving. The consequences can be catastrophic.
“As we move into a New Year and with the continuing hours of darkness , I want to renew our appeal to all road users and pedestrians to exercise caution and put road safety first. Make extra effort to look out for pedestrians and cyclists particularly along rural roads. Pedestrians and cyclists should wear bright clothing, reflective jackets or armbands where possible to ensure they can be seen.
“If everyone slowed down, did not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wore a seatbelt and drove with greater care and attention then together we can save lives on our roads.”
The statistical bulletin which contains breakdown of the statistics is available on the police website here: https://www.psni.police.uk/globalassets/inside-the-psni/our-statistics/motoring-offences-statistics/2017/christmas-drink-drive-results-2017.pdf