A PSNI clampdown on festive booze-driving has turned up an unexpected haul of herbal cannabis after a car was stopped near the Donegal border.
Police recovered around £10,000 in herbal cannabis after stopping a vehicle during a routine drink driving operation on the Mullenan Road at just after 8pm last night.
Chief Inspector Alan Hutton said: “The 45 year old man was breathalysed at the side of the road. After his arrest on suspicion of drink driving, officers searched his vehicle and recovered an estimated £10,000 worth of cannabis.
“The man was further arrested for possession of class B drugs, possession of class B drugs with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of a class B drug.
“The man is in police custody at present.”
Chief Inspector Hutton concluded: “In working to keep our roads safe last night, I am happy to say that we have also removed a substantial amount of illegal drugs from our community.”
The seizure was made by happy accident after the PSNI launched its local winter drink drive operation.
Last year police in the Derry City & Strabane District carried out 19 evidential alcohol breath tests and have promised to be proactive again this Christmas and New Year.
Superintendent Mark McEwan, the District Commander, said: “We have been promoting our winter drink-driving campaigns for many years. Long gone are the days that people could protest that they were not aware of the campaigns.
“The dangers and the consequences of drinking and driving are well known. It could cost someone their life; conviction will certainly change the life of a driver, and their families.
“Every year we see drivers foolishly taking the risk of killing or injuring themselves, their family, friends or other innocent road users by deciding to drive after drinking.
“It is a risk that is not worth taking.”
“We will have the policing resources to tackle the issue. We are determined to detect these drink drivers before they cause carnage on our roads. We will carry out as many road side and evidential breath tests as necessary.
“To date this year more than 60 people have lost their lives in crashes on our roads and many more have been seriously injured. Four of those fatalities have occurred on Derry City & Strabane District roads.
“Drinking and driving is not just something that concerns police. We know that it concerns people in our communities. Week in and week out, throughout the year, we get telephone calls about suspected drunken drivers. We have made detections based on those calls.
“There is a very special message. If you are going out to have a drink this Christmas make plans in advance so that you do not have to drive home.
“Just because we say it every year, repetition does not diminish the message: ‘drinking and driving wrecks lives. Do not let it wreck your life, or the life of anyone else.”