30 Drink Drivers -- Police despair at stupidity
By NEELIMA CHOAHAN
TWEED police have nabbed 30 drink-drivers just four-and-a-half days into road safety campaign Operation Safe Arrival.
Tweed/Byron Highway Patrol Sergeant Bill Darnell said Tweed was well on its way to leading the state in the drink-driving statistics these holidays. "It is disappointing that only four-and-a-half days into the operation and we have caught 30 drink-drivers," Sgt Darnell said.
"Some of them have been caught before lunch.
"The mindset of some motorists continues to be,I'll take the chance."
But be warned, the police have already conducted 1814 breath tests during the operation.
"This means for every 60 motorists we stop there is one positive drink-driving result," Sgt Darnell said. On Saturday a 17-year-old learner driver was caught with a blood-alcohol reading of 0.15. The youth, who was stopped by police at Banora Point after driving erratically, was without supervision and had no L-plates displayed on the vehicle. Sgt Darnell asked drivers to plan ahead and make alternative arrangements if they were going to drink.
"If you have had a drink then use public transport or designate a driver who is not drinking," he said.
"Plan ahead, think before having that third drink."
Warning motorists of increased police presence, he said, drink-drivers had more chances of getting caught this festive season.
"There is going to be a police presence 24-hours, seven days on the highway," he said.
Operation Safe Arrival began at midnight on Thursday, December 20 and continues until midnight Friday, January 4. Double demerit points for all speeding and seatbelt offences apply until January 1. So early into the operation, Tweed police have also already issued 33 drivers with other traffic charges including driving unregistered cars. They have given out 58 speeding tickets, 109 other infringement notices and booked 20 motorists for not wearing seatbelts. State-wide police have detected 5363 people travelling above the speed limit and charged 430 people with drink-driving. The state road toll remains at two after crashes on Friday near Coffs Harbour and Holbrook. There have been no fatalities at the Tweed.
"The festive season is a time to spend with families," Sgt Darnell said.
"No-one, including the police, wants to see their loved ones lose their life on the roads."