PSNI and Gardai in cross-border drink-drive Christmas crackdown

Garda and PSNI officer conducting a checkpoint in Bridgeend at the launch of the Cross Border Anti Drink Driving Campaign on Tuesday last. Photo- Clive Wasson
Garda and PSNI officer conducting a checkpoint in Bridgeend at the launch of the Cross Border Anti Drink Driving Campaign on Tuesday last. Photo- Clive Wasson

The PSNI and Gardai in Donegal gathered at the border at Bridgend this week to launch their annual cross-border Christmas drink driving campaign.

The two forces said the campaign demonstrates the continued co-operation between the Gardai and PSNI in the area of road safety, and particularly in the enforcement of drink driving legislation on both sides of the border.

The launch was co-ordinated by Garda Inspector Michael Harrison and PSNI Inspector John Miller, and it was said at the launch that the initiative will see both forces co-operating at unprecedented levels in relation to drink-driving.

Garda Inspector Michael Harrison said: “If you find yourself asking the question; I wonder if I’m OK to drive? Or if you find yourself trying to calculate if you are under the drink drive limit, whether that’s after one drink, or the morning after a night out, just don’t take the risk. The consequences could be catastrophic. Motorists do not accidentally have a beer or a glass of wine, they make a conscious decision to do that. It only takes one drink to impair your decision-making ability. The only right decision is to leave the car at home if you decide to drink. Drivers continue to selfishly ignore all the advice that has been offered in relation to drink driving.”

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray said: “In addition to the checkpoints, any driver or motorcyclist we stop, whether for speeding, using a mobile phone, or committing any moving traffic offence can expect to be breathalysed. So too can anyone involved in a collision or who we suspect may have consumed alcohol or taken drugs.

“Our aim with this operation is to keep people safe. People need to put as much effort into planning how to get home safely, as they do planning their night out. I do not want police officers knocking on doors at any time of the year, but especially over Christmas and the New Year, to tell families that a loved one has been killed on the roads.”

Brian O’Donnell, Donegal County Council Road Safety Officer said: “Christmas is a time when we get the opportunity to visit and go out with family and friends, who you do not see as often as you would like throughout the year. Nights out are a big part of the season but do not risk getting into a car if you have consumed alcohol or taken drugs.

“One second, one stupid decision and it can change yours and everyone’s lives around you change forever. It is vitally important to stress the importance of; if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink – it’s that simple”.