103 drink-driving arrests in fortnight despite lockdown

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103 drink-driving arrests in fortnight despite lockdown
Police warn those driving under the influence are putting lives at risk and emergency services under pressure at a critical time. Credit: Presseye

Despite the lockdown in place across Northern Ireland and a 60% reduction in traffic flow, police have arrested 103 people for driving while under the influence in the last fortnight.

According to the PSNI, some drivers have been detected by officers on patrol and at vehicle checkpoints aimed at limiting unnecessary journeys during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, arrests have also been made following calls from members of the public, shop and security staff, and in some cases, concerned family members.

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech said: “At a time when we are all working together to try and minimise unnecessary pressure on our NHS and emergency service colleagues, it is particularly disappointing that so many people have decided to put lives at risk by driving after drinking or taking drugs.

“We have significant numbers of police officers on duty across the country and are determined to continue our road safety enforcement.”

It is critically important that we all look out for each other. Stay home. Save lives.

She added: “While I would like to thank all those who reported incidents of people they suspected were driving while under the influence, I would again repeat our road safety appeal – now more than ever, please take personal responsibly for road safety.

“Please slow down. Wear a seatbelt. Pay attention to your surroundings. Never, ever drink or take drugs and drive.”

Police are also warning that, while there is less traffic on roads across Northern Ireland, there are greater numbers of pedestrians and cyclists at all times of day.

Restrictions on movement have been extended by another three weeks to try to limit the spread of Covid-19.

People are urged not to make unnecessary journeys and to leave home only for essential groceries or medication, to work if it is essential and cannot be done from home, or for exercise once a day – while adhering to social distancing by staying at least 6ft apart from people who are not part of your household and avoiding gatherings.

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