13/01/2005

Police to keep pressure on drink drivers

Police are to keep the pressure on Northern Ireland’s drink drivers, Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner has warned today.

He was speaking as the final figures for this year’s Winter Anti-drink Driving Campaign revealed that 529 motorists were detected for drink driving, an increase of 51 on the same period last year.

“The message from the police is simple,” Mr Toner said. “If you drink and drive then there is a good chance that you will be caught. And that chance is increasing all the time.

“It is disappointing that during the period 22nd November to 2nd January some 529 people decided to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. That, of course, means 529 people who are now looking into 2005 with the inevitable prospect of losing their licences, and in some cases their livelihoods.

“The vast majority of right thinking people realise that drink driving is shameful and unacceptable. However, there seems to be an irresponsible minority who ignore all advice and warnings. That is why the detection of drink driving is a priority for the police – indeed an all year round priority.”

NIO Minister Angela Smith praised the police for their work over the Christmas and winter period but said that it never ceases to amaze her that despite numerous warnings on TV, radio and in newspapers, there were people in society who “are determined to ignore the message and risk having to live with the shame”.

(MB/SP)

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