Police have condemned the “unacceptable conduct” of some drivers during a holiday season that saw 55 people arrested for drunk driving.
That figure, for the month of December, is twice as many as the same period in 2016. Over the New Year’s weekend alone, 12 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, as police stepped up enforcement.
The traffic department’s Acting Chief Inspector Everton Spence said proactive patrols and roadblocks had been used to clamp down on drunk drivers.
“Over this past weekend, as during the entire holiday season, we have seen several instances of unacceptable conduct by road users. There have been attempts by some motorists to avoid paying the price for their choices by behaving dishonestly and breaking more laws,” he said.
Weekend incidents included a driver arrested around 3:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day who was driving at twice the legal speed limit along West Bay Road. The 30-year-old man had a blood-alcohol content of 0.253 percent – well over the legal limit of 0.1.
In another incident in the early hours of Monday, a 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of careless driving and driving under the influence after a crash on Huldah Avenue.
Another suspected drunk driver, stopped after her vehicle was seen swerving along Crewe Road at 4 a.m. Monday, gave a false name to police after she was stopped and found to be over the legal drink driving limit. The 25-year-old woman was only able to provide a provisional driving license and was arrested for a string of related offenses.
Mr. Spence said the December total of 55 DUI arrests was concerning.
“This is twice the number of DUIs recorded during the same period last year, and reflects the increased resources and attention that the RCIPS is paying to road safety,” he said.
“Such operations are conducted year-round, but are intensified during the holiday period due to the increased drinking and number of people on the road. Since drunk driving is a primary public safety threat, the public can expect to see continued enforcement to curb this behavior.”
Despite the relatively high number of arrests, he said, many road users had behaved responsibly by having designated drivers or arranging alternative transportation over the holidays.
“We believe that it is because of these choices that there have been no senseless deaths on the roads over the past month. As we continue our traffic enforcement operations throughout the new year, our message remains the same: Don’t drink and drive, it is never worth the risk.”