Northern Region leads the State in drink-driving, alcohol-related crashes
November 4, 2009
Northern New South Wales leads the State when it comes to both drink-driving and alcohol-related crashes.
That’s the grim message NSW Police have issued as they warn the public that they will be caught if they choose to drink and drive this weekend, with police out in force for operation ‘Drink Drive II’.
In 2008, Tweed/Byron Local Area Command recorded 1228 Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) offences – the highest of anywhere in the State. This was followed by Newcastle City with 1026 offences and Coffs/Clarence with 783 PCA offences detected.
Statistics for alcohol-related injury or fatal crashes in 2008 paint a similar damning picture for the Northern Region, with Coffs/Clarence LAC recording the highest number in the State with 117 crashes, followed by Tweed/Byron with 112 and Brisbane Water with 110 crashes.
The top 10 Local Area Commands for alcohol-related injury or fatal crashes all fall within the Northern Region.
Northern Region Traffic Co-ordinator, Senior Sergeant William Darnell, said these figures are unacceptable.
“To lead the State in these figures is really disappointing,” he said.
“While our figures have improved on last year’s, alcohol still plays a predominant role in injury or fatal crashes.
“People who insist on continuing with this irresponsible behaviour can expect to find themselves in a cell this weekend.”
“It’s essential that people plan their social outings responsibly.”
With this year’s road toll climbing well above last year’s record low of 386, motorists can expect a formidable police presence on rural roads to address the concerning rise in fatal crashes.
The operation will commence at 00.01 on Thursday 5 November and run until 23.59 on Saturday 7 November.
With alcohol impairment proven to be a leading cause of fatal crashes, the operation will target drink-driving offences as well as other irresponsible driving behaviour in the lead-up to the busy Christmas and New Year driving season.
Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, Commander of Traffic Services Branch, said people need to be responsible for their own actions when getting behind the wheel.
“There are no excuses. A car can be a deadly weapon and people who drive when drunk risk the lives of not only themselves but other road-users,” he said.
“It is an extraordinarily selfish thing to do, you are risking your own safety and that of others.”
During last year’s operation, police conducted 111,423 breath tests, with 469 charges laid for drink driving offences.