The Police Commander of Traffic Services, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, has expressed his outrage at the latest examples of reckless, drunken behaviour by young drivers on NSW roads over the past 48 hours, including two incidents on the Far North Coast.
Around 11.30am yesterday (Sunday 17 January), police were called to investigate reports of a car doing ‘burnouts’ in a skate park at Cabarita.
When officers arrived, they allegedly found the Nissan Pulsar parked inside the skate ramp area, just two metres from a group of young skateboarders.
The 28-year-old driver allegedly told police he had driven to the Tweed coast from Beenleigh in Queensland after a 13-and-a-half hour drinking session, in which he had consumed 20 ‘bourbon and cokes’ and a bottle of bourbon.
He allegedly returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.175.
Officers found a 14-year-old boy in the passenger seat. His parents had entrusted him to the care of the driver for an interstate skating and surfing trip.
The driver’s licence was immediately suspended and he was issued with a Field Court Attendance Notice for high-range drink driving.
In another incident, police were conducting speed checks on the Pacific Highway at Sleepy Hollow, around 2.15pm yesterday, when they registered a vehicle travelling at 181km/h in a 110 zone.
Officers stopped the grey Porsche Cayenne GTS Turbo 4×4 station wagon about four kilometres away.
A check revealed the 21-year-old Queensland driver only received his unrestricted licence five months ago.
His licence was suspended and an infringement notice issued.
Assistant Commissioner Hartley said: “It is difficult to believe drivers could act so recklessly given the terrible loss of life on Australian roads in recent weeks.
“Only hours before these episodes, we had two people killed in a head-on crash at East Lynne in NSW.
“If police had not detected these drivers when they did, there is a strong chance more people would have been hurt or killed.
“There has been such a public focus on the terrible road toll over summer, I can’t see how these drivers and others like them, could have missed the messages … slow down, avoid alcohol, buckle up and drive attentively.
“Operation Safe Return will be conducted over the Australia Day long weekend and double demerits apply. I’m praying no other lives will be put at risk.”