Drunk Driving: And the Winner Is… Byron Bay

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Police are generally happy with drink driving statistics but there is room for improvement on the Northern Rivers.

Police are generally happy with drink driving statistics but there is room for improvement on the Northern Rivers. Photo: Warren Lynam

BYRON BAY has unfortunately topped NSW for the most drink-driving offences for the end of the financial year June 30.

Police, however, are pleased that more drivers are getting the message not to drink and drive as the number of people caught has significantly fallen.

Police conducted more than 6 million random breath tests in the year ending June 30, resulting in the prosecution of one driver for every 343 tests, down from one in 305 in the previous financial year.

“Clearly education, raising awareness and more RBT all contributed to this result, which is pleasing considering that when RBT was first introduced in 1982, 1253 people died on the road, compared to 350 fatalities last year,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said.

“However, we remain concerned that some drivers continue to think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel after drinking, and we will continue to target them for the safety of all road users.”

In the financial year ending June 30, police charged 18,563 drivers to drink-drive offences, compared to 19,161 in the same period the year before.

Top locations for drink-driving offences were:

  • Byron Bay: 185
  • Coffs Harbour: 160
  • Port Macquarie: 154
  • Dubbo: 136
  • Albury: 122
  • Orange: 118
  • Queanbeyan: 102
  • Goulburn: 100
  • Griffith: 97
  • Armidale: 95

“In the previous financial year, the rate for drink-driving was 1 in 305 and in 2012, it was 1:188. We will continue to target this unacceptable behaviour and get drink-drivers off the road,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

Penalties for drink driving

High range PCA (blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or above)

OR

Refuse a breath analysis, hinder or obstruct taking of a blood sample, wilfully alter the concentration in the blood.

Penalty                                                             

  • Maximum court -imposed fine: 1st offence $3,300, 2nd $5,500
  • Maximum jail term: 1st 18 months, 2nd 2 years
  • Minimum disqualification: 1st offence 12 months, 2nd 2 years
  • Maximum disqualification: Unlimited
  • Automatic disqualification: 1st 3 years, 2nd 5 years
  • Immediate licence suspension: Yes

Mid-range PCA (blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to less than 0.15)

Penalty                                                            

  • Maximum court -imposed fine: 1st offence $2,200, 2nd $3,300
  • Maximum jail term: 1st 9 months, 2nd 12 months
  • Minimum disqualification: 1st offence 6 months, 2nd 12 months
  • Maximum disqualification: Unlimited
  • Automatic disqualification: 1st 12 months, 2nd 3 years
  • Immediate licence suspension: Yes

Low range PCA (Blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 to less than 0.08)Low, novice or special range PCA

OR

Novice range PCA

(Blood alcohol concentration over zero for novice drivers)

OR

Special range PCA

(Blood alcohol concentration over 0.02 for special category drivers)

Penalty                                                             

  • Maximum court -imposed fine: 1st offence $1,100, 2nd $2,200
  • Maximum jail term: N/A
  • Minimum disqualification: 1st offence 3 months, 2nd 6 months
  • Maximum disqualification: 1st 6 months, 2nd unlimited
  • Automatic disqualification: 1st 6 months, 2nd 12 months

“These penalties are severe for a reason; to act as a deterrent to road users and help avoid serious injury or death caused by drink-driving,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.


Source article:

Samantha Elley – The Northern Star

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One comment on “Drunk Driving: And the Winner Is… Byron Bay

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Christopher Dean on July 23, 2016 2:08 am

Of the towns listed Byron Bay would have by far the greatest number of visitors. And I would suspect the highest number of RBT setups. I wonder whether in a calculation of percentages/1000 drivers these numbers may not be out of proportion to the rest of the state..

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