Senior Constable Trent Elliott.
Senior Constable Trent Elliott.

Drink-drive campaigns are working

DESPITE seeing a drop in drink- driving offences, Tweed police say there are still far too many drunks on our roads.

According to the latest figures, 541 drivers in the Tweed/Byron command have been caught over the legal limit in 2009 - 61 less than last year.

A total of 199 drink-drivers have been caught in Tweed Heads and 198 were nabbed in Byron Bay.

The statistics, which run from January to the end of June, 2009, also show that 54 drink-drivers were detected in Kingscliff and 41 in Murwillumbah.

Up to the end of June last year, 602 drink-drivers had been caught in the Tweed/Byron police region.

But despite this year's drop in offences, Sergeant Rod Golden of the Tweed Highway Patrol says his officers are still catching far too many drunk drivers on the road.

“We've done the same amount of RBTs this year but we are down on PCAs (drink-driving offences),” Sgt Golden said. “We've had a lot of high-profile traffic operations this year and some covert ones as well.

“Maybe the message is starting to sink in, but I wouldn't say we are happy. We aren't happy because 541 is still far too many.

“And when you consider the amount of LACs (police commands) in the whole northern region that are in the top 10 (for drink-drivers) in the State, it is clear there is a problem up here.

“I don't think there is any magic-wand solution that is going to fix it.”

Sgt Golden said the statistics also showed a drop in alcohol-related crashes since last year. There have been 44 in the Tweed/Byron region this year, compared with 50 last year.

“There's been a 12 per cent drop, which is good, and we'd like to see that drop continue,” he said.

Sgt Golden said police would be targeting drunk and drug-affected drivers at next weekend's Splendour in the Grass music festival in Byron Bay.

“We've got two drug buses coming up from Sydney this year. Normally we'd only have one, but this year we will have two at the festival,” he said.

“We're going to continue our high-profile policing and we are also looking at doing weekend traffic operations where we hit different towns in the LAC for a few hours each night.”

Drink drivers '09

• Tweed Heads 199

• Byron Bay 198

• Kingscliff 54

• Murwillumbah 41

• Brunswick Heads 28

• Mullumbimby 11

• Bangalow 10

Total 541

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