Supt Mark Purdon launches PSNI winter drink drive campaign

EXCLUSIVE: A MAN arrested by the PSNI admitted he drank ten pints of beer before getting behind the wheel of his car.

The PSNI has revealed that officers from B section arrested a man in Comber, Co Down on Sunday night.

An Ards PSNI inspector said: “He admitted to drinking 10 pints before driving.

“He subsequently blew 190 on the evidential breath test machine in Bangor custody suite. The limit is 35.

“It beggars belief that after all the warnings and obvious consequences, people are still prepared to take the risk.

“Sadly he will not be the last person to lose his licence (and more) over the Christmas period.

“I just hope nobody loses their life,” added the inspector.

The arrest of the man comes just days after the PSNI launched its Christmas anti-drink driving campaign.

Last Friday, Supt Mark Purdon launched the Winter Drink Drive Operation at Sprucefield warning motorists that all police patrols had access to breathalyser devices.

His message to motorists was very simple: “Not even one’ – because just one drink can kill.”

Last year 429 drink drivers were detected by police, which Head of Operations Branch, Superintendent Mark Purdon described as a “disappointing” figure.

Out of those found to be over the limit, the youngest was 16 years and the oldest was 76 years, with an average age of 35.

Almost 6,500 breath tests were carried out, of which 348 male drivers and 59 female drivers were detected as being over the legal limit.

“People don’t accidentally have a beer or glass of wine, they make a conscious decision. It only takes one drink to impair your decision making ability. The only right decision is to leave the car or motorbike at home if you’re drinking,” said Supt Purdon

“Some of these people were so drunk, they could barely stand up, it just beggars belief that some people still insist on attempting to drive after drinking.”

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, police officers will run targeted operations to detect drink drivers as well as acoordinated road safety operations across the border counties with An Garda Síochána Traffic Corp.

“If you find yourself asking the question, I wonder if I’m ok to drive? Or if you find yourself trying to calculate if you are under the drink drive limit, whether that’s after one drink, or the morning after a night out, just don’t take the risk,” Supt Purdon added.

“The consequences could be catastrophic.”

Environment Minister Alex Attwood advised drivers to be responsible during the Christmas period.

He said: “It can be tempting to take an unplanned drink, particularly at Christmas parties, and consider driving home.

“But even small amounts of alcohol impair driving, so thinking that you can have one drink and drive safely isn’t realistic.”


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