Northern Ireland

Christmas drink-driving cases up on last year

Motorist being breathalysed
Image caption The number of motorists detected drink-driving has increased from last Christmas.

The number of motorists detected drink-driving in the run-up to Christmas has increased from last year.

Preliminary figures released by the PSNI show that between 25 November and 18 December, 250 drivers or motorists were found to be unfit to drive, or unable, or refused, to give a sample.

The figure is 28 higher than last year.

The head of road policing, Superintendent Muir Clark, called drink-driving a "shameful and incredibly dangerous practice".

One person detected was four-and-a-half times the legal limit and another two were found to be four times the maximum.

The youngest person detected was 16 and the oldest 72.

There is no regional breakdown of the figures available.

Supt Clark said: "To put these figures into context, the drivers detected with the highest alcohol readings have literally fallen out of their cars when they have been stopped or been unable to stand at the roadside.

"There is absolutely no excuse for this. 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.

"Already this year, 58 people have been killed in collisions on roads across Northern Ireland, three more than this time last year.

"I do not want officers knocking on doors at any time of the year, but especially over Christmas and the New Year, to tell families that a loved one has been killed on the roads."

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