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Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 12:32 GMT
Campaign targets drink drivers
Campaign highlights dangers of drink driving
Campaign highlights dangers of drink driving
The annual Christmas anti-drink driving campaign has been launched by police in Northern Ireland with the message: "Bump - and you're breathalysed".

Motorists are being warned they will be breathalysed if they are involved in a road traffic accident, regardless of whether or not they are to blame.

Superintendent Ian Hamill, head of the Road Policing Development Branch, said: "If police are called to or come across any collision, no matter how slight, then all drivers involved will be breath-tested."

Drink has played a part in 22 deaths on the province's roads this year.


My message this Christmas is as always, never, ever drink and drive

Sam Foster
Minister for Environment

Over 600 have been injured, some 120 seriously.

Environment Minister Sam Foster has welcomed the get tough approach and said the problem of drink driving was so serious that "no effort should be spared in removing it from our roads".

"I wholeheartedly welcome this tough approach by the police."

Mr Hamill said during last year's campaign over the Christmas-New Year period, police detected 326 drunk drivers .

"While that was 87 down on the year before, there were still too many people who thought they could drink and drive", he said.

'Priority'

"Police are determined to tackle the problem robustly.

"No matter what other pressures are placed on our resources, catching drunk drivers and bringing them before the courts remains a priority," he stressed.

"I want to make it clear that if anyone is involved in a collision, even if it isn't their fault, and police are called to the scene, they will be breathalysed," he added.

Mr Hamill added that people could enjoy themselves over the festive season without compromising road safety.

"The police are not out to spoil anyone's fun during the festive season," he said.

"I know it is the season of goodwill, but let's also make it the season of safety on the roads for everyone."

Mr Foster said it "beggared belief" that anyone would even consider getting behind the wheel after having consumed alcohol.

"Even one drink impairs and at the legal limit you are six times more likely to have a collision.

"Drinking and driving is a lethal cocktail. My message this Christmas is as always - never, ever drink and drive."

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Superintendent Ian Hamill:
"All drivers involved in an accident will be breathalysed"
See also:

04 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Drink drive campaign targets youth
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