Hundreds of Northern Ireland motorists caught drink-driving

By Gary Adair

The well publicised crack down on drink-driving in Northern Ireland started in very foreboding fashion, with the first person to be stopped at the first checkpoint found to be over the limit.

A change in the law meant that the PSNI for the first time could carry out random checks on Northern Ireland motorists regardless of whether or not they had any reasonable suspicion of an offence. The first spot checkpoint was set up on the Causeway coast and the PSNI had aimed to set up over 1,000 checkpoints throughout Northern Ireland over the course of the festive period.

The first week of the checks saw a 45% increase in arrests for drink-driving compared to the same week in 2015, and numbers greatly reduced in the following weeks, which PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd is evidence that the message was getting out to the Northern Ireland public. By the third week of the campaign, arrests were only up 1.7% on last year - 241 compared to 237.

Mr Todd indicated that more males were arrested than females, though there was one much publicised case of a mother who was caught over the limit when driving her children home from school after going out for lunch with friends. The ages of those caught drink-driving varied from 16 to 80. Approximately 10 per cent of offenders were caught the morning after they had been out drinking.

If you require legal advice from a solicitor specialising in motor offences in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.