Riverina police are targeting motorists this weekend as part of a statewide crackdown on drink driving.
Police will target alcohol-impaired motorists during Operation Drink Drive 2, which started on Friday morning and will finish before midnight on Monday.
In the 2018 financial year, 2707 people in the southern region were charged with drink driving, including 480 in the high-range category.
During the operation in the region last year, 70 people were charged with drink driving and 35,135 random breath tests were conducted.
Inspector John Aichinger, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Southern Region Traffic Tactician, said motorists could expect an increased police presence on major roadways and back streets.
“The effect of alcohol on one’s ability to drive safely is well documented, but every day we are still catching motorists who put themselves and others at risk by drinking and driving,” he said.
Each year, $14 million from the NSW Government’s Community Road Safety Fund is invested in the Enhanced Enforcement Program to deliver targeted operations such as Operation Drink Drive 2.
Bernard Carlon, executive director of the NSW Centre for Road Safety said while great reductions have been achieved in reducing drink driving rates through RBTs and education campaigns, drink driving remains a major cause of trauma on NSW roads, especially in the country.
“Even if you’ve just had one drink, your driving can be affected by alcohol,” Mr Carlon said.
“If you’re driving on a high-speed country road, the difference between life and death is just a small impairment in your reaction time or decision making.”
In 2017, 55 people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes in NSW.
Sixty-nine per cent of these fatalities were in the country.
“This is simply unacceptable when we think of the families and communities that are affected by this tragic loss,” Mr Carlon said.
“Our message is simple: if you’re planning to have a drink, have a plan B.”