ON WATCH: A continued increase in drink-driving offences in Coffs Harbour – highlighted by the long week’s highway patrol operation – has sparked fresh warnings from police.
ON WATCH: A continued increase in drink-driving offences in Coffs Harbour – highlighted by the long week’s highway patrol operation – has sparked fresh warnings from police. Adam Hourigan

Anti-drink driving message yet to sink in on the coast

MOTORISTS ignoring the drink-driving rules are leaving police frustrated and asking the question - "what will it will take to get the message through?"

High rates of drink-driving over the Queen's Birthday long weekend have sparked fresh concerns among Coffs Harbour Highway Patrol officers.

Police said among the incidents, a 29-year-old motorist allegedly smashed into a parked car at Beryl St on Monday night.

The man was later taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station where he allegedly returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.245 - almost five times above the legal limit.

Over the three day period, eight motorists were charged with drink-driving from 820 random breath tests conducted in Coffs Harbour.

It follows a continued increase in local drink-driving offences.

Rates of speeding were also significant, with 86 speeding motorists detected above the limit.

They included an 18-year-old motorcyclist nabbed at 114kmh in a 60kmh zone on the Pacific Hwy on Thursday night.

The incident earned the P1 motorist a $2306 fine, a six month suspension on his licence and an infringement notice for driving more than 45kmh over the limit.

The three-day highway patrol operation followed a "horror week" on our region's roads that included fatal crashes at Halfway Creek and Arrawarra.

A man also remains in an induced coma at a Brisbane hospital after a crash at Lanitza last Tuesday.

Coffs Harbour Highway Patrol supervisor Sergeant Jarrod Langan said drink-driving remains a significant area of concern.

"Our rates of drink-driving-related crashes are just ridiculous," Sgt Langan said.

"I'm constantly confused as to why people think that drink-driving is acceptable when it is totally unacceptable and generally has dire consequences.

"The repercussions are high - not just the fact you can lose licence or incur a heavy fine, it's the possibility of serious injury or death that makes it just not worth the risk.

"There's always another way to get home."



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