Drink driving can cause serious car accident injuries and deaths on NSW roads, which is why the state police have recently conducted widespread breathalyser testing.
Officers stopped and tested 218,684 people over a three-day period running from November 6-9, with 131 individuals charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The Operation Drink Drive 2 initiative targeted major highways, suburban areas and regional locations.
The police also handed out over 2,000 infringement notices for other offences. This included 646 people caught speeding and 140 drivers who weren’t wearing a seatbelt or other suitable passenger restraints.
According to NSW Police statistics, officers tested 62,409 more drivers than over the same three-day period in 2013. There was also a significant drop in the number of people charged with drink driving, as 340 were disciplined last year.
Car accident injuries on the decline
Initiatives such as Operation Drink Drive 2 appear to be having a positive impact on the number of car accident injuries occurring.
Officers said there were 279 fewer major crashes reported in 2014 than in the previous year, with only 100 people sustaining injuries, compared with 168 in 2013.
NSW Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Acting Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said that while there was just a single death during this year’s Operation Drink Drive, this is one too many.
“It still represents one family that has to cope with the sudden and devastating loss of a loved one,” he commented.
“While the statistics for Operation Drink Drive 2 have been encouraging, with 209 fewer drink-drive charges, motorists appear to be getting the message, but more still needs to be done.”
Police highlight notable incidents
There were several incidents the police considered worthy of note over the three-day period, including a number of drink driving and speeding offences.
One Honda CR-V wagon driver was found travelling at over 119 km/h on Heathcote Road, Heathcote. This was nearly 50 km/h over the 70 km/h legal limit for this zone.
Another individual was found driving while disqualified. He was charged and refused bail, with police revealing his ban was in place until 2046.
Elsewhere, a 31-year-old man was found driving at 184 km/h in a 90 km/h zone, despite having his learner’s licence cancelled. Officers issued him with a Field Court Attendance Notice for driving at a dangerous speed to the public and operating a vehicle while having a cancelled licence.