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Tweed-Byron has the highest rate of people charged with drink driving offences.

The region between Yamba to Urunga follows closely with 651 drink drivers coming from the Coffs-Clarence area alone.

Acting Senior Sergeant Brett Jackson who is currently the Coffs-Clarence Traffic Patrol Spokesman said that the 651 drink drivers were detected from July 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014. Jackson then compared this number to The Rocks and the city in George Street in the middle of Sydney which recorded 181 while Kings Cross had 184 during the same period, July 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014.

Compared with the aforementioned areas, Jackson found the statistics of drink drivers in Coffs-Clarence as a cause for concern such that the local police have stepped up their random breath testing.

Jackson observed that a lot of people are still uninformed as to the fact that they might still be intoxicated even if it is already the morning after a night out. Jackson said that it is common to catch at least one drink driver who came from a big night out and drove to work the following day to work thinking that he is in the right state to do so yet very much still intoxicated.  

Aside from the random breath testing in the later part of the day, local police now also conduct regular morning check-ups as part of the response to the high drink driving rate in the Coffs-Clarence area.

In NSW, the higher the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the driver the harsher the penalties become for the drink driving offence. The penalties for drink driving include demerit points, fines, imprisonment, suspension of license and disqualification from driving.

There are certain types of licenses for which the holder must have zero BAC whenever driving. Learner drivers, provisional 1 and 2 drivers and visiting drivers with equivalent learner or provisional licenses are required to have zero BAC at all times when driving.

Special category drivers are allowed a prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) of up to 0.02. Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods, drivers of public vehicles and drivers of vehicles with a mass greater than 13.9 tonnes are required to have a PCA of 0.02 and below when driving.

All other types of licenses are allowed a PCA of up to 0.049.

If the driver has an ordinary license and he is caught drink driving then the various penalties for low range, mid range and high range drinking offences will apply. Low range drink driving is when the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 to below 0.08. A driver is convicted of mid range drink driving has a 0.08 to below 0.15. Finally, high range drink driving is when the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 and above.

This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice.


Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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