Mid Ulster police officers have been praised for their efforts to curb drink-driving and anti-social behaviour on the area’s roads over the holidays.
Council chairman Trevor Wilson told the Mail he was stopped and breathalysed a few times himself over the festivities and said he was happy to see the PSNI’s proactive approach to curbing drink-driving in action.
“I was stopped three times over the Christmas period. Well done,” the UUP representative said.
“I would like to congratulate police on how proactive they where over the Christmas period.”
Figures on the total number of drink driving arrests made over Christmas and New Year are to be released by the PSNI in January a spokesperson said, but in Mid Ulster police reported two incidents on New Year’s Day.
Local officers said: “A very alert member of the public contacted us and stated they thought someone was drunk and drove off in a car.
“This driver was intercepted in Cookstown by our highly trained colleagues in District Support Team... Male arrested for excess alcohol.”
Another incident was also recorded in Magherafelt when an arrest was made earlier in the night, as “a driver failed to comply with a preliminary breath test”.
Police said this offence carries the same penalties as someone who blows over the legal limit.
But now the festive period is over, it doesn’t mean such operations end.
Urging people to “slow down, not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wear a seatbelt and drive with greater care” Chief Inspector Pennington said: “Together we can reduce the preventable carnage on our roads.
“Just do not take the risk of having even one drink if you are driving.
“The consequences, as police officers and our emergency service colleagues witness first hand, can be catastrophic.
“To date this year 66 people have lost their lives in crashes on our roads and many more have been seriously injured, so I am also appealing for all road users and pedestrians to exercise caution and put road safety first.”