Youngest winter drink-driver was 15

Published Friday, 31 January 2014
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A 15-year-old was the youngest person to be caught drink-driving in Northern Ireland during the winter crackdown, police have revealed.

Youngest winter drink-driver was 15
A total of 251 people were caught drink-driving this winter. (© UTV)

While the total number of people caught over the legal limit fell slightly, compared to the same period a year ago, a total of 251 motorists were arrested between 28 November and 2 January.

"Once again, despite our warnings and highly visible police operations, 251 people still took the risk of killing or injuring themselves, their family, friends and other innocent road users," PSNI Superintendent David Moore said.

"They have begun 2014 with the prospect of going to court where they will almost certainly lose their driving licence. They should count themselves lucky.

"They could have lost their own life or destroyed the lives of others, had police not stopped them."

Clearly there is still an irresponsible minority who ignore all advice and warnings.

PSNI Superintendent David Moore

While the youngest person detected was just 15 - too young to legally be driving, never mind while under the influence of alcohol - the eldest was aged 78.

The number of women detected this winter increased from 41 a year ago to 57, but they were still outnumbered by the number of men caught drink-driving - a total of 194.

Armagh and Lisburn topped the list for detections, with 19 people caught in each area. Ballymoney had the least detections, with just one.

According to police, over 500 more people were stopped and given roadside breath tests than a year ago, taking the total to 4,582.

"Our aim with this and every road safety initiative is to save lives and reduce injuries, which is why we ran operations day and night throughout the festive season and not just during the weekends or key dates," Superintendent Moore added.

"Whilst the current publicity campaign has ended, the detection of drink driving will remain a year-round priority for police.

"So far this year, eight people have lost their lives on our roads, so we are once again appealing for everyone to take responsibility for road safety."

© UTV News
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