DRINK driving offences were down over 40 per-cent in the Fermanagh and Omagh district during the Christmas period, according to preliminary figures released by the PSNI.
Each year police run a Christmas campaign in a bid to keep the roads safe over the busy festive season. Between November 30, 2018 and January, 1 2019 some 20 drivers were arrested for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the district, which in real terms is 14 fewer drivers than during the same period in 2017/18.
Moreover, as part of the PSNI’s annual Christmas crackdown, over 11,000 drivers were required to provide a breath sample at random vehicle checkpoints across the North and 322 people were detected and arrested for failing those tests, a decrease of 10.6 per-cent on the same period last year.
Commenting on the figures, Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said, “We shouldn’t be detecting people driving with any alcohol in their system. It’s disappointing that despite our repeated and well publicised warnings, a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by taking the shameful and incredibly dangerous risk of driving after drinking.
“Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.”
This year’s operation was also supported by the independent charity Crimestoppers, which affords the public the opportunity to anonymously speak up and provide information about drink drivers.
The charity has witnessed a 65 per-cent increase in actionable calls with information about drink driving when compared to the average for the previous seven months.