322 drink driver arrests by PSNI during Christmas season

By Gary Adair

Preliminary figures released by the PSNI reveal that there were 322 drink driver arrests from 30th November 2018 to 1st January 2019, with ages of drivers ranging from 14 to 83 years old.

Over 11,000 people were tested during the campaign, and there was an increase in the number of calls with information about drink driving - up 65 per cent compared with the average over the previous 7 months. The independent charity Crimestoppers facilitated calls from the public, promising anonymity, to provide information about suspected drink drivers.

While the number of arrests were down by 38 compared to the same period in 2017/18, the figures show that the problem with drink driving in Northern Ireland continues to be significant. One driver was detected at over 4 times the drink driver limit, and one involved the driver of a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV).

There was an increase in the number of female drink drivers compared to the previous year, up from 49 to 72, though male drivers still continued to represent the largest number of arrests with 250 in total. Very worryingly, the youngest arrest for drink driving was of a 14 year old.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd assured that the PSNI "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".

There were 55 fatalities as a result of road traffic accidents in Northern Ireland in 2018, as well as hundreds of victims suffering life changing injuries.

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