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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Drink drive campaign targets youth
Christmas drink-drive campaign advert
The campaign aims to reduce carnage
Young drivers are being targeted in a summer anti drink-drive campaign launched jointly by the Department of the Environment and the police.

DoE figures show that July is the worst month for drink-drive deaths and serious injuries on the roads in Northern Ireland.

Three quarters of all fatal drink-drive crashes are caused by men aged between 17 and 34, according to the statistics.

Motorist is breathalysed
At the legal limit a driver is six times more likely to have an accident

Launched by Environment Minister Sam Foster on Wednesday, the campaign aims to convince drivers that even small amounts of alcohol adversely affect their driving.

Mr Foster said: "I don't want to be a killjoy when it comes to young men enjoying the summer.

"But, I encourage them to drive responsibly. Drink and drive and you risk your life, you risk killing or maiming others."

He said public attitudes to drink-driving had improved over the past 30 years and it was no longer socially acceptable.

"However, despite campaign after campaign there are still those who persist in driving after having consumed alcohol," he added.

"Remember, if you get behind the wheel after having consumed alcohol you become a potential killer. Could you live with the shame?"

RUC Superintendent Ian Hamill said catching motorists who drink and drive and bringing them before the courts remained a priority.

Mr Hamill said: "We are not out to spoil anyone's fun.

"But, clearly there is a minority which chooses not to listen to all the advice that has been given over the years.

"They are not only a danger to themselves but to everybody else on the roads. We are committed to educating the driving public.

"However, let there be no mistake about it, we are also committed to enforcing the drink-driving laws rigorously."

Drink driving facts

  • Excessive speed, often combined with drugs or alcohol, is now the major factor in road deaths.

  • At the legal limit, a driver is six times more likely to have a collision.

  • During the five years 1995-1999 alcohol was the principal factor in a quarter of all road deaths.

  • The legal limit is 80mgs of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

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