Lo­cal DUI fig­ures ‘woe­ful’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

EVEN ex­pe­ri­enced traf­fic po­lice were shocked by the “woe­ful” fig­ures in a drink-driv­ing blitz in Port Dou­glas last week­end.

A ran­dom breath-test­ing unit picks up in Port Dou­glas an av­er­age five drink driv­ers per 120 peo­ple tested, ac­cord­ing to Sergeant Mark Buck­man, how­ever, last Satur­day eight peo­ple were caught out of just 86 peo­ple tested.

“We’ve known for a long time that there’s a drink-driv­ing prob­lem in Port Dou­glas so we de­cided to come up there and do some ran­dom breath test­ing,” he said.

“And even we were shocked by how woe­ful the fig­ures re­ally were.”

Traf­fic po­lice from Cairns were set up for only four hours be­tween 11.15pm and 3.15am on Port Dou­glas Rd where they caught the eight driv­ers.

The high­est read­ing was .182 by a 43-year-old Cairns man who al­legedly told po­lice he was go­ing to drive back to Cairns be­fore he was pulled over.

The sec­ond high­est was .14 by a 38-year-old Cairns man who al­legedly told po­lice he had just driven up from Cairns in that con­di­tion.

“It’s one thing to mis­cal­cu­late and be over by a cou­ple of drinks but it’s an­other thing to be more than dou­ble the limit - I’d al­most be sug­gest­ing they don’t think they’re go­ing get caught or don’t care,” Sergeant Buck­man said.

If you find a place where you catch a fish, you’re go­ing to go back to that same place and catch some more

“There were two over­seas tourists with quite low read­ings, a 33-year-old Cook­town man with a read­ing of .103.”

Out of the lo­cals charged with drink­ing driv­ing, a 37-year-old wo­man had a blood al­co­hol read­ing of .104, a 54-year-old man blew .053 and a 49-year-old wo­man was .054.

“With the fes­tive sea­son fast ap­proach­ing con­sider your op­tions, if you’re plan­ning a night out on the town drink­ing plan not to drive,” Sergeant Buck­man said,

“It’s an old mes­sage but quite ob­vi­ously rel­e­vant in your com­mu­nity up there.

“Whether they are lo­cals, tourists or near lo­cals they need to plan to do the right thing like have a plan in place, stay lo­cally with friends/ fam­ily or have a des­ig­nated driver.”

The re­sults from this lat­est blitz has made the traf­fic po­lice re­alise more ac­tion is needed to curb the grow­ing drink driv­ing prob­lem in Port Dou­glas.

“Port Dou­glas in my opinion does have a drink-driv­ing prob­lem that has ramped up to one in 11 cars that were stopped,” he said.

“It’s quite ob­vi­ous that Port Dou­glas needs some more en­force­ment done to try to ad­dress the is­sue and we will be go­ing up there as fes­tive sea­son ap­proaches.

“It’s like catch­ing a fish, if you find a place where you catch a fish, you’re go­ing to go back to that same place and catch some more.”

Photo by FRAN­CIS BRENDAN

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