‘Clearly the message isn’t getting through’ - police on drink driving after four arrests

A suspected drink-driver was arrested after police responded to reports of this crash near Stewartown on Sunday
A suspected drink-driver was arrested after police responded to reports of this crash near Stewartown on Sunday

Following four arrests within 48-hours, two after crashes, police have voiced concerns that the message on drink-driving ‘isn’t getting through’.

Officers patrolling Mid Ulster’s roads over the weekend took four people into custody for suspected drink-driving, and it is understood that two of these arrests came after crashes.

Officers reported responding to a collision in the early hours of Sunday (October 23) on the road to Stewartstown.

They provided a picture of the badly damaged vehicle (right) and a woman was later arrested. Police said: “In the early hours of this morning (Sunday), officers from C Section responded to a report of a road traffic collision out towards Stewartstown.
“You can see half the car was ripped off and so was the front wheel. All the airbags have deployed so you can imagine a very violent collision and impact.
“The driver was located and was arrested for excess alcohol. She’s very lucky to be alive. Luckily no one else was injured in the collision, but it could have been so much worse.”

Just a day later, another collision in the Magherafelt area led to a further arrest for suspected drink-driving.

Police said they had been called to the scene of a crash, where the driver ‘made off’ from paramedics.

PSNI Magherafelt said: “The driver decided he didn’t want to hang about and wait for us to arrive and took off from paramedics.

“Police intercepted the driver in the town centre area and stopped the vehicle. The driver blew a staggering three times over the limit at the road side. He was arrested for excess alcohol and several road traffic offences.

“People keep doing it,” they added, (but) “we keep arresting them”.

A man was also arrested for suspected drink-driving in Tobermore at the weekend, after police “happened across a vehicle veering across the central white lines” when they were searching for a missing man. There are no details on the fourth arrest.

Over last winter, police in Mid Ulster District made a total of 27 drink-driving arrests between November 28, 2015 and January 3, this year - an increase on the previous year of almost 13 per cent.

Appealing for people to consider consequences of their actions, Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said at the time: “It’s disappointing that despite our warnings, a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice.”