Local DUI figures ‘woeful’
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.”
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