Police launch Tweed drink drive campaign
POLICE have launched a massive 72-hour drink- driving blitz, targeting major towns and outlying areas from Tweed Heads to Byron Bay.
Operation Drink Drive One, the first statewide campaign of its kind for 2009, kicked off at midnight yesterday and will run until midnight Saturday.
Tweed/Byron Highway Patrol chief, Sergeant Rod Golden said police were pulling out all stops to catch drivers breaking the law and putting others in danger.
“It's going to be a big operation,” Sgt Golden said. “We've got all our officers working and we've got cars, bikes and the RBT van out on the roads.
“Our officers will be out in force at night and into the early hours each morning.
“We will even be working with Coolangatta police this weekend to conduct RBTs on both sides of the border to ensure the saturation of the area.”
Sgt Golden said police were patrolling all major towns, including Tweed Heads, Kingscliff and Murwillumbah, but also the outlying areas of the Tweed/ Byron Local Area Command.
“No-one will be safe,” he said.
According to the current figures, 130 people have been busted over the legal driving limit so far this year.
There have been 52 drink-driving arrests in Byron Bay, 40 in Tweed Heads, 14 in Murwillumbah and 13 in Kings- cliff. The remaining arrests refer to Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby and Bangalow.
Sgt Golden said he was pleased to see a drop in drink-driving offences in 2009 after the command was named the worst area in the state for eight of the past nine years.
“We are down on the amount of drink-drivers we have had, and it will be nice if we can keep those figures down,” he said.
In the lead-up to Operation Drink Drive One, acting NSW police traffic commander Chief Superintendent Dave Evans warned people of the dangers of drink-driving.
He said alcohol was a factor in one out of five fatal traffic crashes.
“Alcohol is one of the biggest killers on our roads,” Chief Supt Evans said. “If you get behind the wheel of your car drunk then you're not only endangering your own life but other innocent road users as well.
“Police will be out in force in big numbers on major roads and back streets, from Byron Bay to Bega, Broken Hill to Bondi, to catch drunk drivers. Our message is a simple one: if you drink, don't drive; it's not worth the risk.”
The Roads and Traffic Authority has also launched a major advertising campaign coinciding with the police road blitz, about the dangers of drink-driving and the likelihood of getting caught.
“Every single day police detect motorists who have taken to the road despite being under the influence of alcohol,” Chief Supt Evans said. “I constantly ask myself how many people must die before motorists get the message that drink-driving is stupid, irresponsible and unacceptable.”