A 14–year-old was among more than 320 motorists caught drink-driving on Northern Ireland’s roads during a police clampdown.
A total of 322 drivers and motorcyclists were arrested during the 2018/19 winter anti-drink drive operation between November 30 to January 1. That is down by 10.6% (38 arrests) on last year.
Around 11,000 people were tested, police figures show.
The youngest caught was 14 -the legal age to drive in Northern Ireland is 17 – while the oldest was 83. One offender was more than four times the limit.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said it was clear the anti-drink drive message was still not getting through to some.
“When we launched this operation at the end of November, we warned drivers not to take the risk because just one drink can impair decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill,” he said.
“Early figures indicate that we tested over 11,000 people during the operation. While that figure is expected to increase as more information is downloaded, we detected and arrested 322 people for failing those tests.”
ACC Todd said those arrested were likely to lose their driving licence, be fined, and have difficulty obtaining car insurance in the future.
He added: “One person was detected at over four times the drink drive limit, with a reading of 153 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
“At 14 years of age, the youngest person detected shouldn’t have been on the road, let alone failing a breath test. This individual is being dealt with for a number of motoring offences including taking and driving away.
“The oldest person detected was 83 years of age.”
Females accounted for 72 of the 322 arrests.
In one case, after being stopped by police for travelling at 101mph at 9am, the driver then subsequently also failed a roadside breath test, being nearly three times over the limit.
In another incident, after being involved in a collision, a driver was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs – and approximately £3,000 worth of suspected drugs were recovered from the vehicle.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of a series of drug offences.