Victorian blitz nabs one drink driver every three minutes

By: Chris Smith

Police say they are "disgusted" at the results of Operation Southern Arc on Friday night with 105 drivers caught over

Police say they are "disgusted" at the results of Operation Southern Arc on Friday night with 105 drivers caught over the limit.

This figure included two drivers caught with illicit drugs in their system and one driver who refused a breath test.

This equates to one drink driver caught every 3 minutes in the blitz targeting vehicles leaving the CBD and inner suburbs.

Just as alarming was the fact that one in 41 drivers tested were over the legal limit, which is substantially higher than the overall state average of around one in 250.

With seven booze buses involved, police targeted major routes out of the city to the southern and south eastern suburbs.

Marked and unmarked mobile patrols were used in back streets and to capture patrons leaving licensed premises in and around the booze bus sites who were attempting to avoid the major roads and sites.

The highest readings were a 37 year old female from Glen Iris with a reading of .293 and a 42 year old male from Dandenong with a reading of .216.

Officer in Charge of Port Phillip TMU Sergeant Bob Hope says drivers clearly don’t value their licence or take their responsibility to other road users seriously.

"I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, stupidity is a major factor in drink driving," Hope says.

"Why else would so many people risk their own lives and those of other people to save the cost of a train or taxi fare?"

"There are now over 100 drivers who are without a licence all because they obviously didn’t think about the impact that this will have on their family and work.

"Some of those caught could now be without a job because they don’t have a licence – but that’s always better than killing or seriously injuring someone."

Region 1 Traffic Inspector Greg Parr said it was the responsibility of drivers to be accountable for their actions and that included not getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.

"Drink driving is still occurring frequently in the inner city area and we will continue to dedicate all our efforts to eliminating this problem," Parr says.

"What astounds me is that these results were achieved on a cold and wet night in winter.

"Drivers are employing new methods to avoid booze buses so police are going to keep moving the goal posts.

"These types of saturation operations in conjunction with targeting of licensed premises and back streets will become common place until the message gets through."

Inspector Parr also says many people head to these areas knowing they are going to consume alcohol.

"People attending our entertainment and restaurant precincts need to know that if they intend on drinking, now more than ever, they are likely to be breath tested," he says.

"All booze buses are now testing for both alcohol and drugs so anyone choosing to drive with either of these in their system will be caught and have to face the consequences.

"It’s as easy as catching public transport, taking a taxi or arranging a designated driver for the evening. By taking responsibility and preparing for a night out you can avoid having it end in tragedy."

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