Northern Ireland

Drink driving: Number of arrests falls over Christmas

drink driver Image copyright PA
Image caption 383 drivers were arrested between 24 November and 3 January - down on last year's figures

The number of arrests for drink-driving over Christmas in Northern Ireland fell, despite police more than doubling the amount of tests.

The PSNI have revealed that 383 drivers were arrested between 24 November and 3 January.

This represents a 4% decrease compared to the same period in 2015/16.

Nearly 11,000 drivers were breathalysed during that period - a 125% rise in the number of people tested.

Almost 300 other drivers received a warning after testing positive for alcohol, but within the legal limit.

'Four times the limit'

Ass Ch Cons Alan Todd said the offenders ranged from teenagers to people in their 80s.

"One person was detected at over four times the drink-drive limit, with a reading of 149 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath.

"We've had people literally falling out of their cars and people detected throughout the day and night across the country.

'Risk losing jobs or going to jail'

"Nearly 400 people across Northern Ireland are now facing the stark reality of 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 going to jail.

"The alternative consequences had they not been caught do not bear thinking about. Each one of these drink-drive detections has potentially saved lives."