Our drink-driving shame continues
By SAMANTHA HEALY
THE Tweed's disgraceful drink-drive record continues unabated.
Yet another drink-driving blitz, conducted by police across the state last weekend, has revealed our region continues to rank as the worst in the state.
Random breath-testing campaign Operation Drink Drive One nabbed 51 drinkdrivers on the Tweed, including one who blew a dangerous 0.23 PCA reading.
The operation was run over a normal weekend when there were no public holidays or major local events.
During the three-day crackdown more than 400 motorists across the state were charged with drinkdriving offences and six people died during the 72hour period, one less than last year's operation.
To put the figure in perspective, 1284 drink-drivers were detected during Operation Safe Arrival, which ran for 12 days over the Christmas and New Year period.
"It was just another weekend in the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command," highway patrol Sergeant Bill Darnell said.
He said the biggest issue for the Tweed is that the region is an all-year-round holiday destination.
"You can't educate the locals because a big chunk are not locals," Sgt Darnell said. "Alcohol is a factor in one in 9.75 crashes in the Tweed/Byron region.
"The 51 reflects what one can expect at any given weekend in Tweed/Byron.
"The Tweed/Byron consistently detects in excess of 800 PCAs annually, and for the past seven years has topped NSW.
"Our ratio of positive tests per breath test is one in 46, the worst in the northern region."
NSW Traffic Services Commander Chief Superintendent John Hartley said despite constant warnings about the dangers of drinkdriving, motorists were not heeding the messages.
"Drink driving is simply unacceptable," he said. "It puts the driver, passengers and other motorists at extreme risk of a deadly crash."