The Chief Inspector for Operations in Lisburn and Castlereagh Derek McCamley, has described as an ‘alarming trend’ the rise of drivers under the influence of drinking and drugs, in the past two months.
In Lisburn alone, Mr McCamley said police had caught up to four motorists each weekend, twice the amount of cases they would receive at this time of the year.
Mr McCamley said the recent increase highlights some drivers are still willing to take the risk.
He said that in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area alone, up to five drivers are caught under the influence of drink and drugs each weekend.
Mr McCamley said the police were baffled by the increase.
“In the past two months, we are catching an alarming amount of motorists under the influence of drink or drugs,” he said.
“We have caught motorists sometimes who are as much as twice the legal drink drive limit.
“Drivers, unfortunately are simply not taking responsibility for their own actions.
“Motorists need to understand that driving is their own personal responsibility. By taking these risks they are placing not only themselves in danger of serious injury or death but other road users.”
He said that there have been an increase of incidents where people are given cautions for being just under the legal limit of 35mg of alcohol.
“If found guilty of drinking whilst driving motorists not only face a fine but a mandatory disqualification for a year which means a resit of the test again,” Mr McCamley said.
“It just seems that people are willing to take the risk to drink and take drugs whilst driving,” said Mr McCamley said.
“People are not only taking illegal drugs but prescription drugs like diazepam.
“Anyone driving under these conditions don’t have the same control and more likely to have an accident.”
He said that they do not expect a surge in drink and drugs driving incidents at this time of the year.
“Obviously, we run a campaign at Christmas but this is the middle of the year,” said Mr McCamley.
“We have always had a push to keep the roads safe but our efforts at this time of year ave not increased.
“It seems that more people are just willing to take the chance. If they are doing this they will be caught.
“People think that they can get away with it. We want to warn them that they will not. They will be caught.
“Our warning to drivers is do not drink and drive it is not worth it.”