Drinking and driving wrecks lives, warns officer

A senior PSNI officer has warned festive drink drivers they will be caught if they decide to get behind the wheel, over the limit.

Operations Manager for the Western Area, Inspector Steve Haslett said officers will be increasing checks on the roads between now and the New Year, and in particular at the weekends.

“Police have looked at the information when people are being detected and we are targeting those areas and times.

“It’s showing early mornings as when people are being detected, and that shows people are not thinking about the morning after,” Insp. Haslett.

Recent examples include one driver in the Roe Valley area who was stopped just after 10am on a Sunday.

“The implications for that young man - his job, his insurance - are far reaching,” he said, revealing another driver had been stopped at 5.30pm.

“While the latter driver was not over the limit, they were still registering alcohol from the night before.

“Had we stopped that person a couple of hours before, or at lunch time, it may have been a very different outcome,” said Insp. Haslett.

“People still seem to think ‘I will be okay’, or ‘I can handle my drink’, and while one drink won’t put you over the limit it will impair your driving,” warned Insp. Haslett, who said officers will also have drivers who take drugs and get behind the wheel on their radar by carrying out field impairment tests.

Insp. Haslett had this message for anyone considering having a few drinks over the holidays and driving.

“It’s not worth it. Don’t do it,” he said. “Don’t let it be you that is caught by us.

“Think of the consequences of killing somebody, or a member of your family. It’s just incomprehensible because the effect that has and the number of people affected.

“It wrecks lives - not just yours, but your family’s, your friends and for what. Please, just plan ahead.”