Almost 11 percent of all arrests made during the PSNI’s Winter drink driving operation came from the north west corner of the Province.
A total of 16 detections were made in the Foyle area, four in Limavady and a further seven in the Strabane district during the period between November 28 last year to January 2 this year. Across Northern Ireland a total of 251 drink drivers were detected - down just over eight per cent.
The figures include motorists who were unfit to drive, or who were unable or refused to give a sample.
Announcing the figures, Head of Operations Branch, Superintendent David Moore said: “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 by deciding to drive after drinking.
“While we welcome the fact that the vast majority of right thinking people realise that drink driving is shameful and unacceptable, clearly there is still an irresponsible minority who ignore all advice and warnings. Worryingly, this year we have also seen an increase in the number of women being detected, from 41 to 57,” he said.
“During this operation, we stopped and performed roadside preliminary breath tests on 4,582 drivers – over 500 more than last year. The 251 people who were subsequently arrested 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.
“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.
“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.
The youngest person detected was aged 15 years and the oldest person detected was 78 years. Overall 194 males and 57 females were detected and the highest reading was 151 microgrammes. The legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.