Scary drink driving statistics
DRINK driving, the number one crime on the Coffs Coast, continues to cause carnage on our roads, waste police and court resources and claim lives at alarming rates.
Our area continues to be the worst in NSW for road-related deaths with one in five caused by drink drivers.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has found in its latest count 376 drink drivers were caught over the period of a year in Coffs Harbour – an average of one person caught every day.
All the statistics point to a long-standing drink driving culture on the Coffs Coast.
Strong enough proof and sound enough reason why The Coffs Coast Advocate, as the voice of the community, must name and shame those convicted of drink driving offences to arrest this epidemic.
Coffs Clarence Traffic Duty Officer Acting Inspector Dave Vandergriend said Coffs Harbour carries the mantle of the worst drink driving region between Sydney and the Queensland border.
On average, one in 100 drivers breath tested returns a positive result.
“Last month we detected another 33 people drink driving in Coffs Harbour and across the command there were a total of 61 charged with drink driving offences throughout January,” Mr Vandergriend said.
“These figures are quite alarming given the media campaign leading into the holiday period and yet we were still arresting people for these offences even after telling the public we are focusing heavily on drink driving and conducting more random breath tests.”
The extent of driver related deaths in Coffs Harbour was the focus of a visit by Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens last year.
Mr Owens highlighted there were more than 100 additional road deaths on the Coffs Coast in 2009, compared to the previous year, and that people were dying within a 10km radius of their homes because of speed and alcohol.
Of the people who are killed, 88 per cent are men and 75 per cent are under the age of 40.