EXTRA police officers from the Barwon, New England and Oxley local area commands (LAC) kept an eye on thousands of revellers across the New England and North West celebrating the New Year last night.
High-visibility policing in public areas and around licensed pubs and clubs targeted anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related offences across the Western region.
Random breath-test stations were set up on highways and back streets across the region to catch out drink-drivers.
Police also warned revellers to be careful today, as those who had had a big night could still be over the limit if they got behind the wheel of their motor vehicle today.
Oxley LAC acting Inspector Stuart Campbell said alcohol was one of the main contributing factors to crime on the popular night out.
“Oxley LAC has rostered extra police on for the New Year’s period, including New Year’s day,” Inspector Campbell said.
“We expect a large number of random breath tests will be conducted over the two-day period.
“Police are urging people to be mindful of alcohol consumption during the night as residual alcohol can remain in the blood for a long period of time.
“Every time motorists are caught out it’s because they think it’s safe to drive and they are caught, long after they have consumed their last drink.”
The advice from the region’s health professionals is to stick to two standard drinks and to steer clear of alcohol completely if planning on driving today.
Area director, Newcastle Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services, Dr Adrian Dunlop, said alcohol remained the most widely used drug in Australia.
“Alcohol slows down the brain and nervous system and should always be consumed responsibly and in moderation,” Dr Dunlop said.
“Whether you’re male or female, try to keep to two standard drinks.
“Make sure you have something to eat beforehand, and don’t combine alcohol and salty food, because then you’re likely to get thirsty and drink more.
“Nor should you combine alcohol with other drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines. One drug can amplify the negative effects of the other, and stop medications working effectively.”
However, should you find yourself with a throbbing head today as the result of too many drinks, New England region zone manager for NSW Ambulance Tim Collins may have the answer.
“Water and plenty of it,” superintendent Collins said.
Saying there was no medical cure for a hangover apart from rehydration, Mr Collins said he’d heard of old wives’ tales such as beetroot and vitamin B, but his own method worked for him.
“A can of Coke and a Mars bar. Works every time for me.”