Horror weekend for drink-driving offences

A 43-year-old Banora Point woman caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration five-and-a-half times the legal limit has infuriated police with her blatant disregard for the safety of others.

The woman was caught in the car park at Banora Shopping Village on Leisure Drive with a .275 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) shortly before 10am on Saturday morning.

She was just one of nine drink-driving offenders caught in the Tweed/Byron Area Command since midnight on Friday.

Six of those offenders were caught in Tweed Heads.

A 39-year-old Coolangatta man was arrested on Kennedy Drive in Tweed Heads at 8.45am on Saturday morning with a .17 BAC reading.

Tweed Heads police sergeant Rob Taylor said the continuous lack of respect from drink-drivers for the law and others on the road was frustrating.

"It's like beating your head against a brick wall. They just keep coming," Sgt Taylor said.

"We want the message out there: If they keep drinking and driving then we will keep catching them."

Tweed Heads police previously threw their support behind the Tweed Daily News' Think Before You Drink campaign to weed out the region's drink-drivers.

Sgt Taylor said the 43-year-old Banora Point woman was lucky to be alive.

"People can die when they reach a .30 BAC," he said.

A legal BAC limit is .05 and .15 is considered "high-range."

"What is more disturbing is that the officers found an empty sherry bottle at her feet," Sgt Taylor said.

Police officers at the scene could not give the 43-year-old a court date because she was too drunk.

"She wouldn't have been able to understand it," Sgt Taylor said. "A date has been set for her and she will be notified."

Tweed Valley Division of General Practice spokesman Dr Graeme Burger condemned her excessive blood alcohol reading.

"People can get acute alcohol poisoning with that level. Long-term illnesses and even death are also possibilities at that point," Dr Burger said.

"By that point it could start to affect your liver, stomach and brain. People who have been drinking alcohol for a long time can develop a tolerance to it."

Dr Burger said alcohol was a major health concern in society.

"For men we would recommend 20 standard drinks a week and women would be half of that," he said. "Exceeding that limit every odd week will lead to serious health problems in five to 10 years."

MEANWHILE, a man eluded police following a high-speed chase through Tweed Heads and Tweed Heads West in the early hours of yesterday morning. Police were following the 1990 Ford Liberty when the pursuit began after the suspect ran a red light about 12.30am.

The car was doing more than 100km/h in a 60km/h zone at one point and switched off his headlights to evade police. The man headed west until becoming trapped in a cul-de-sac. He then fled the vehicle and jumped several fences before police lost him.



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