Shining harsh light of day on drink driving

May 22nd, 2024Shining harsh light of day on drink driving

One in five drink drivers fined in Victoria was caught during daylight hours, newly released Victoria Police analysis shows.

One in five drink drivers fined in Victoria was caught during daylight hours, newly released Victoria Police analysis shows.

The analysis also reveals half of detections were on a weekday, prompting a warning that police are out anywhere, any time to make sure motorists aren’t over the limit.

It comes amid a danger month on Victoria’s roads with 29 people killed in May last year with alcohol a contributor in multiple deaths.

So far this May at least 12 people have died and figures show about 1200 of the near 4900 drivers caught drink driving in the last financial year were nabbed between 6am and 6pm.

More than 400 were caught between 6am and noon alone.

Victoria Police has been scheduling special daytime and early-morning operations to keep drink drivers on their toes and remind all drivers police are out testing for alcohol anywhere, any time.

The force conducts 3 million breath tests every year and not only do police deploy their booze bus fleet statewide but every police car also has breath testing capability.

The night, 6pm to midnight, remains the most prolific time for drink drivers on the road with 1900 detected followed by midnight to 6am when almost 1800 were caught.

Saturday accounts has the most detections of any day with 1200 ahead of Sunday, Friday and Thursday.

About 400 drink drivers were caught on a Monday and 350 on a Tuesday.

Most drink drivers fined – more than 40 per cent – recorded a blood alcohol content between 0.07 and 0.10.

About a third blew between 0.05 and 0.07.

Anyone caught drink driving faces heavy fines and a loss of licence.

First-time drink drivers alone face a $577 fine and being disqualified from driving for three months even for low-level readings.

Figures analysed – covering 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 – included only drink drivers who received a fine, which applied for readings up to 0.15.

Those with higher readings must go to court where a magistrate imposes a fine and driving disqualification period.

About a quarter of all fatal crashes involve a driver or rider over the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.05.

Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir, Road Policing Command: “People might think drink driving is something that only occurs after dark but this data shows there’s a lot of offending in the day.

“That’s why police are out breath testing motorists around-the-clock.

“If you think you can run the gauntlet, be it day or night, think again.

“The penalties for drink driving are severe.

“The consequences of a being involved in a crash are even more serious and last a lifetime.

“Drinking and driving simply isn’t worth the risk.”

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