Northern Ireland news

176 arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving in December to date – police

Some 176 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink or drugs in Northern Ireland between December 1-18 (PA)
Rebecca Black, PA

More than 170 people have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs so far this month, police have said.

The 176 arrests made between December 1-18 is up by 12 on the same period last year.

Police launched their annual campaign against driving under the influence at the start of the month.

Superintendent Gary Busch described the rise in the figures as disappointing, and warned of potential consequences for those caught such as losing their driving licence.

“When we launched this year’s operation just over two weeks ago, drivers were warned not to take any risks by drinking or taking drugs and driving,” he said.

“Unfortunately, 176 people ignored our warning. They now find themselves facing the prospect of starting the New Year with a court appearance and losing their driving licence, which may have a huge impact on their life and that of their family.

“It is disappointing that a minority of people continue to disregard the safety of themselves and others, by taking the incredibly dangerous risk of driving after drinking or taking drugs.”

“Our message is clear. Never EVER drink and drive. Just one drink can impair decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.

“In addition to our authorised checkpoints, every driver or motorcyclist stopped by police, whether for speeding, using a mobile phone, or committing any moving traffic offence can expect to be breathalysed. Anyone involved in a collision or who we suspect may have consumed alcohol or taken drugs will also be tested.

“We all share the roads. This means we all share the responsibility for road safety.

“Slow down. Pay greater attention to your surroundings. Always wear your seat belt and Never drive after drinking or taking drugs.”

Northern Ireland news