Drunk driver five times over limit

A DRIVER with a blood alcohol reading of 0.234, five times the legal limit, was one of 29 drink-drivers caught in a police blitz over the weekend in the Richmond and Tweed/Byron commands.

The 38-year-old Queensland man was stopped by police on the Summerland Way early on Sunday morning and breath tested recording a high PCA reading.

The intoxicated driver told police officers he was driving down from Queensland.

Hours earlier, another Queensland driver was charged with mid-range drink driving after recording a PCA of 0.140.

The 24-year-old female was also charged for driving unlicensed and stating a false name when she was stopped at Kyogle.

The Operation Drink Drive II commenced on Thursday and finished at midnight on Sunday.

Motorbike riders were also targeted as police charged an 18-year-old in Ballina with refusal to supply details after responding to complaints about motorbike riding on Compton Drive.

Richmond Local Area Command crime prevention officer Senior Constable Michael Hogan said 1775 random breath tests were conducted in the Richmond area.

“There were five tickets issued for restraints, 46 for other offences, 33 for speeding and 14 arrests for drink driving,” he said.

There were also 17 other offences including unlicensed driving.

Snr Const Hogan said the rainy conditions may have played a role in the number of offences issued on the weekend, which was down from last year’s operation.

Last year’s operation saw 1838 breath tests conducted and 67 speeding tickets issued but only 13 PCA charges within the Richmond area.

This year’s statistics were similar for the Tweed/Byron area where 15 PCA charges were laid and 959 random breath tests were conducted.

Tweed/Byron Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Shane Diehm said the bi-annual operation was successful.

“It was particularly significant leading into the schoolies celebrations,” he said.

“The operation is part of our ongoing focus on PCA offences which are high in the Tweed/Byron command. We will continue to focus on these on the main and back roads.”

The operation was part of a statewide police crackdown which targeted drink-drivers.

Across NSW, police conducted 96,713 random breath tests and charged 194 drink driving offences.

North Coast regional traffic co-ordinator Senior Sargent David Dillon said the slight decrease in offences from last year’s operation was “a good thing”.

“Any drink-driver is one too many and we will catch them before they catch someone else,” he said.

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