Shameful drink-drive record again

TWEED and Byron shires look set to reclaim their title of the state’s worst drink-drivers this year.

Tweed Byron Highway Patrol Sergeant Richard Baxter said 734 people had been arrested this year, and numbers could exceed 2008’s total.

“The Tweed Byron Local Area Command this year has the highest incidence of people being arrested for drink-driving in the northern region, from northern Sydney to the border,” Sgt Baxter said.

And the northern region is leading the state this year in both drink-driving and alcohol-related crashes.

However, Sgt Baxter said it was not all bad news for the Tweed Byron area.

“Because we’re locking so many people up, alcohol-related accidents are down from 2008 from 83 to 57.

“That’s a reduction in alcohol-related major crashes of 31 per cent.”

At this rate, the area’s drink-driving figures could exceed last year’s.

“We’re slightly under what we got last year for the total,” Sgt Baxter said. “December is one of the busiest months of the year for arresting people for drink-driving.”

Sgt Baxter said police were now conducting traffic operations targeting drink-driving.

“We started with Schoolies in Byron Bay on the weekend and go right through to the end of January.

“We do just as much breath-testing in the small coastal areas as we do in the towns.”

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