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Drink drivers detected on Christmas Day as crackdown continues

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Police have confirmed their annual anti drink-driving campaign which has been in operation over the festive period in West Tyrone will continue into the New Year.

While official figures will not be released until next week at the earliest, it is understood that the police were busy between Christmas and the New Year with more random breath tests than ever taken place at vehicle checkpoints in towns and villages throughout the district.

According to the local Omagh PSNI despite all their advice and warnings about drink driving over the holiday season, some people still thought this did not apply to them and continued to risk their licences and lives.

"Two drivers were arrested for drink driving offences in the Omagh area on Christmas Day and a third, that we couldn't locate, was picked up later by our colleagues in Strand Road. All three were reported to be swerving all over the road and narrowly avoided collisions on a number of occasions. Sincere thanks to all of those people who rang in and helped us to get them stopped. All three drivers have been charged to court and will probably be asking for a driving licence for next Christmas," said a spokesperson.

Police had already warned of their annual winter drink drive operation at the start of December where they outlined it would once again feature random breath tests at vehicle checkpoints.

At the time Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray explained: "Our message is very simple, never ever drink and drive. Just one drink can impair your decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.

She said that across the country, road policing officers, local and neighbourhood policing teams and their Tactical Support Group colleagues would be using recently introduced legislation to set up vehicle checkpoints and carrying out random breath tests as very visible, physical deterrent.

"We are determined to catch those people who take life-threatening, unacceptable, and simply stupid risks."

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