Motorists warned as PSNI winter drink-driving operation launched

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Some drink-drivers caught on Northern Ireland’s roads last year were so intoxicated they could hardly stand up, a senior police officer has revealed.

A total of 270 people were detected during the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) annual winter operation, which has been launched again this year.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “During last year’s winter drink-drive operation, we detected 270 people who took the risk of killing or injuring themselves, their family, friends or other innocent road users by deciding to drive after drinking.

“Considering that, in some instances we stopped drivers who were so drunk they could barely stand when they got out of their vehicle, which just beggars belief.”

The operation will be targeting motorists in the weeks leading up to Christmas and into the New Year.

In border counties, the PSNI will co-ordinate with officers from An Garda Siochana traffic corp.

Mr Todd said all drivers should expect to be breathalysed if stopped by police.

He added: “Nobody should find themselves asking the question, ‘I wonder if I’m okay to drive?’ Or trying to calculate if they are under the drink-drive limit, be it after one drink or the morning after a night-out. Do not take the risk.

“The consequences, as police officers and our emergency service colleagues witness first hand, can be catastrophic.”

To date, 64 people have been killed in road crashes across Northern Ireland.