Good night out turns sour

POLICE have long said that bad things happen to drink drivers and a Urunga man is proof of that, after his vehicle caught fire as he was driving under the influence.

The 26-year-old’s run of tough luck started on the Pacific Highway early yesterday when he noticed smoke coming from under the bonnet of his Holden Apollo sedan.

Within minutes of pulling over flames had engulfed the vehicle’s engine bay.

Fire crews attended the scene, 400 metres north of the Waterfall Way turnoff, at 2.50am.

As they worked to extinguish the car a north bound lane of the highway was closed.

Once the fire was put out, police officers followed protocol by breath testing the driver, standard police practice at any crash or car fire scene.

He tested positive and was taken to Bellingen Police Station where he was submitted to a breath analysis machine returning a reading of 0.135 and charged with mid-range drink driving.

Emergency services reopened the highway an hour later.

The incident has been one of the more eventful drink driving arrests on the Coffs Coast, as part of a 72-hour police blitz on reckless driving.

A Woolgoolga man, was also arrested and charged under the statewide operation.

He was stopped driving in Clarence Street at 10.20pm on Thursday.

The local man, 32, returned a mid range reading of 0.140.

Highway patrol officers also booked a man, 45, in Orlando Street, Coffs Harbour at 11pm, who returned a low range reading of 0.70.

In Bellingen, a Canberra man, 23, was caught in Hyde Street at 9.30pm.

He returned a reading of 0.030 exceeding the special range limit imposed on p-plate drivers.

Police are warning motorists they’ll again be out in force tonight.

Acting Traffic Services Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller yesterday expressed great disappointment in the State’s drivers.

Police have continued to be astounded at the stupidity of some drivers fined or arrested despite the police crackdown attracting widespread media coverage.

“Police continue to be dismayed at people flouting traffic laws, particularly young drivers,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

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