Preliminary figures released show almost 300 people were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving between 1st December, 2023 and 1st January 2024.

Commenting on the figures Chief Superintendent Sam Donaldson from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Operational Support Department said: “Despite urging drivers not to take any risks by drinking or taking drugs and driving, almost 300 people ignored our warning and were arrested.

“The 298 motorists now find themselves facing the prospect of starting 2024 with a court appearance and losing their driving license, which may have a huge impact on their life, that of their family and probably their career.

“These figures show that If you drink and drive you will be caught, you will be prosecuted and you will be punished.

“It is extremely frustrating and concerning that a minority of people continue to disregard the safety of themselves and others, by taking the incredibly dangerous risk of driving after drinking or taking drugs.

“Driving with drink or drugs, drastically increases the chances of a causing a collision. It only takes one drink. If you’re driving, don’t drink any alcohol at all.

“We continue to focus our operational activity on road safety issues, with operations being held this week. We all share the roads. This means we all share the responsibility for road safety.

“Remember the Fatal Five and the steps you can take to avoid them. Don’t drink and drive, slow down, don’t get careless, wear your seat belt and stay off your phone.”