According to preliminary figures released today (25 January),  police arrested 308 people on suspicion of drink or drug driving between 1st December 2022 and 1st Jan 2023, nine more than during the same period last year.

Commenting on the figures, Superintendent Gary Busch said, “When we launched our winter drink and drug drive operation, we warned drivers not to take any risks by drinking or taking drugs and driving.

“Unfortunately, 308 people ignored our warning. They now find themselves facing the prospect of starting the New Year with a court appearance and losing their driving license, which may have a huge impact on their life, that of their family and possibly their career.

“Those 308 arrests reflect 308 occasions where your police service has prevented a potentially serious or fatal road traffic collision.

“It is disappointing 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.”

“It is also clear from our arrests, that significantly more men than women are being detected (males accounted for 86.4% of arrests), while almost half of those arrested were aged between 30 and 49 years of age.

“The youngest person detected was 16 years of age and the eldest 83 years of age. The highest detection was 157μg/100ml over four times the legal limit of 35μg/100ml. This detection is not only one of highest recorded, but also one of the most shocking.

“Our message is clear. Never EVER drink and drive. Just one drink can impair decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.”

“We will continue to focus our operational activity on road safety issues. We all share the roads. This means we all share the responsibility for road safety.

“Slow down. Pay greater attention to your surroundings. Always wear your seat belt and Never drive after drinking or taking drugs.”


This bulletin summarises available information in relation to the PSNI Christmas drink driving campaign 2022/23, which ran from 1st December 2022 to 1st January 2023 inclusive, specifically the outcomes in terms of Preliminary Breath Tests (PBTs) and drink/drug driving arrests.

These figures are provisional and subject to change, particularly for PBTs which are likely to increase as more information is uploaded to the system.

Key points:

During the Christmas drink drive campaign from 1st December 2022 to 1st January 2023, initial figures show that PSNI officers conducted over 9,000 preliminary breath tests (PBTs), a decrease of 6.6% on the same period last year.

• Of the 9,343 PBTs conducted, 5.1% (480) resulted in a fail or failed to provide, a similar proportion when compared with the 2021/22 campaign (4.7%).

• A total of 308 people were arrested for drink/drug driving related offences during this year’s campaign, representing an increase of 3.0% compared with the same period last year (299).

• The highest number of arrests were made in Belfast (54), while Ards and North Down experienced the largest decrease in arrests when compared with the same period last year (from 27 to 14).

• Males accounted for the majority (86.4%) of those arrested for drink/drug driving offences throughout the 22/23 campaign, while almost half of those arrested were between 30 and 49 years old.

• The highest evidential breath test reading recorded over the campaign was 157μg/100ml.

• The youngest person arrested for drink/drug driving offences during the 2022/23 campaign was 16 years old while the oldest was 83 years old.

The bulletin with a regional breakdown can be found here: