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Random breath tests to be performed at checkpoints from Monday in anti-drink drive campaign

Action part of UK-wide campaign will see legislation introduced in November 2016 put to good effect

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Random breath tests at authorised police checkpoints will be carried out from Monday as the PSNI take part in a major anti-drink drive campaign.

Legislation was introduced in November 2016 to permit such testing.

And the police intend to put it to good use at checkpoints at “key times of the night and day”.

It comes as it was revealed that 1,426 across Northern Ireland have been arrested so far this year for drink or drug driving.

Police say this comes despite repeated warnings to the public not to get behind the wheel when under the influence.

There will be no room for complacency, according to Chief Inspector Diane Pennington.

She explained: “While road safety remains a daily priority, over the coming fortnight, all police officers across Northern Ireland and the UK will be focussing on preventing and detecting drink driving.”

And CI Pennington added: “If you take the risk of driving after drinking, you can expect to be detected by police. You can expect to be prosecuted and lose your driving license. If you cause a collision in which someone is killed or seriously injured, you can expect a custodial sentence.

“Any driver or motorcyclist stopped by police, whether for speeding, using a mobile phone, or committing any moving traffic offence can expect to be breathalysed. So too can anyone involved in a collision or who we suspect may have consumed alcohol or taken drugs.

“We will also be making use of legislation first introduced in November 2016, which gives us powers to carry out breath tests at authorised vehicle checkpoints at key times of the day and night.

“We all share the roads, so we all share the responsibility for road safety. Slow down. Never drive after drinking or taking drugs. Pay greater attention to your surroundings, and always wear your seatbelt.

“If everyone follows this advice, then together we can save lives on our roads.”

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