Dozens of motorists charged with drink driving

Eight people have died and dozens of motorists have been charged with drink-driving during the first two days of Operation Drink Drive 1.

On day two of the operation (Friday 22 February 2013), four people were killed in separate incidents and 32 motorists were charged with drink-driving.

The fatalities bring the total number of lives lost during Operation Drink Drive 1 to eight.

Operations Commander of the NSW Police Force’s Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Superintendent Stuart Smith, said despite a significant reduction in the number of motorists caught drink-driving, the results are still disappointing.

“The figures are down more than 50 per cent on last year, but too many people are still taking the risk and driving while over the limit,” Supt Smith said.

“Again I am pleading for people to heed our warnings; if they take the risk to drink and drive then they will be caught.”

Superintendent Smith said it’s very concerning to see the number of fatalities up from last year, and is urging motorists to be extremely careful when driving in the current weather conditions.

“Two people lost their lives after the first two days of Operation Drink Drive 1 in 2012, this year we have seen eight people killed for the same period.

“Driving in inclement weather is dangerous and requires motorists to be extra careful and alert. The conditions across the state this weekend are extreme and unpredictable.

“Adding alcohol and irresponsible driving into the mix in these conditions is a recipe for disaster.

The four recent fatal incidents are:

About 8.30pm yesterday, emergency services were called to the Lismore-Bangalow Road, Bexhill, following a collision between a Toyota Camry and a semi-trailer. The semi-trailer then collided with a Honda Civic. The occupants of the Toyota and the semi-trailer were uninjured; however, the driver of the Civic –a 59-year-old man – died at the scene. Inquiries into the incident are continuing.

Emergency services were called to Lovedale Road, Lovedale, just before 10pm yesterday after the body of a man was found lying on the road. It’s believed the 36-year-old man was walking east along Lovedale Road when he was struck by an unknown vehicle. The car didn’t stop to render assistance. An investigation into the incident has commenced by police from both the Central Hunter Local Area Command and Newcastle Crash Investigation Unit.

In the most recent incident, about 9.30am today (Saturday 23 February 2013), a man died after his car left the road and hit a rock wall in Nelligen. The driver died at the scene and a female passenger was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Local police have established a crime scene and are investigating the incident.

On Day 2 of the operation, 44,732 random breath tests were conducted state-wide and 32 people charged. During the same period last year police conducted 44,668 breath tests and charged 115 with driving under the influence.

Some significant results from Day 2 include:

Just after midnight (Saturday 23 February 2013), Operation Drink Drive 1 police stopped a Subaru Forrester on Brittania Drive at Wyong. The 22-year-old male driver was arrested after returning a positive breath test. He was taken to Wyong Police Station where a breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.171. The man was charged with high-range drink-driving and other driving offences. He was bailed to appear before Wyong Local Court on 11 March 2013.

A teenage girl has life-threatening injuries following a single-vehicle crash in the state’s Central Coast. About 1.30am today (Saturday 23 February) Emergency services were called to Scenic Drive, Buff Point, after a green BMW left the road and hit a power pole. A 17-year-old female passenger was taken to hospital where she remains in a critical condition with life-threatening injuries. The 17-year-old male driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries. He was given mandatory blood and alcohol tests after returning a positive roadside breath test. Inquiries are continuing.

A 32-year-old Victorian man will appear in court next month after being caught allegedly drink-driving in Sydney’s Kings Cross overnight. Highway Patrol officers, who were conducted proactive patrols of the area, stopped a car after it allegedly overtook their unmarked vehicle, crossing unbroken lines. The driver, a man from Richmond in Victoria, was arrested after retuning a positive breath test. He was taken to Kings Cross Police Station where he allegedly returned a reading of 0.161. He was given bail to appear before Downing Centre Local Court at a later date.

The number of motorists caught speeding has also slightly reduced from last year, with 602 caught on day two of the operation this year. For the same period last year 673 were caught.

Operation Drink Drive 1 commenced at 12.01am on Thursday and will conclude at 11.59pm today.

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