NORTHERN Highway patrol officers say they know where all the back roads are and they’re not afraid of using them in this weekend’s drink- driving blitz.
Operation Drink Drive 1 began at midnight yesterday and runs until midnight on Sunday.
While police say they’re always targeting drink-drivers, they’re adopting a more visible approach to the crime this weekend and have told The Leader motorists can expect to be stopped and breath-tested.
With extra highway patrol staff rostered on, highway patrol leading Senior Constable Matt Reeves reminded motorists that general duties crews were equipped with breath-testing equipment.
“We’re placing extra emphasis on detecting drink-drivers. It’s not that we don’t enforce it year-round, but we’re putting on extra staff this weekend to try and detect people not doing the right thing,” he said.
“Drink-driving numbers were up again over the country music festival and we’re still getting more than we should.
“It’s always a high-profile operation and is a constant reminder for people to think of the alternatives and have a designated driver or someone to drop them off.”
Police expect to conduct more than 100,000 RBTs over the three days across the state and have asked the public to think carefully before they drink and take the wheel.
New England highway patrol Sergeant Dave Bramble said nowhere was off limits to police officers in search of drink-drivers.
“We’ll be out there doing mobile and stationary RBT in town areas, major roads and back roads,” Sergeant Bramble said.
“We’re all aware of the back roads drink-drivers use and they will be patrolled.
“If you’re going out for drinks or whatever, have a plan B for how to get home.”
During last year’s Drink Drive 1 operation, police charged 187 people with PCA. A further 2125 motorists were booked for speeding while 5099 road-users were issued infringements for other driving offences.