Police in Ireland have warned motorists of the risks of drink-driving this Christmas after witnessing a 15% rise in the number of detected cases in the first two weeks of their seasonal crackdown.
A total of 230 motorists have been stopped by police so far, 31 more than last year, with six people detected at four times the legal limit.
Chief inspector Diane Pennington said: "These early figures indicate that despite our warnings, there is still a minority of people who completely disregard the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice.
"Drinking and driving kills, maims and wrecks families. Police will not tolerate people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or drink.
"Words alone cannot describe the sights and sounds of the serious road traffic collisions which police officers and our colleagues in the emergency services attend. Bodies broken, lives shattered."
According to the figures, men were significantly more likely to be stopped for drink-driving offences, with 199 males compared with only 31 females failing the breath test.
Already this year 108 people have been killed in collisions on roads across Northern Ireland, one more than the overall total for 2008.
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