DESPITE ongoing warnings and campaigns, two out of the three council areas which cover Tyrone recorded a rise in the number of drink and drug driving arrests over the recent festive period.
In a trend repeated across the North, the PSNI revealed that there 33 arrests made in Fermanagh and Omagh over the last month (December 1 – January 1) in comparison to 32 in 2016.
In Derry and Strabane, the number of arrests rose to 28 from 26 the previous year. However Mid Ulster was one of the few regions of the North which saw a drop, from 28 in 2016 to 26 last year.
Across the North, there was an alarming total of 357 people arrested during the Christmas season.
The rise in detections comes against a backdrop of increased police patrols.
“We tested over 13,000 people during the operation, an increase of over 16 per-cent in the number of preliminary roadside breath tests compared with the previous operation,” said Inspector Rosie Leech.
“We arrested 357 people who failed those tests. Each of those people are now facing the stark reality a court appearance where they will most likely lose their driving license for one or more years, be fined, and will have great difficulty in obtaining car insurance in the future.
“Many also risk losing their jobs or even going to jail.
“The alternative consequences had they not been caught do not bear thinking about.”
The police revealed that one person was detected at nearly four times the drink drive limit.
The police inspector added, “It’s disappointing that despite our continued warnings, the publicity and media coverage generated by this policing operation, that a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice.”
She also urged all motorists and road users to take extra caution as the dark evenings continue.