Byron Bay has topped a list of the state’s worst drink-driving hotspots, with Ballina coming in seventh, and Tweed Heads at number 10.
And while the rankings are not good news for drivers caught in those areas, NSW Police say they are encouraged by statistics that show drink-driving rates are declining.
However, with 25,000 people still being caught for either drink driving or drug driving last financial year, police said there was still problems across the state.
End of financial year statistics show that there has been a decrease of 1406 drivers charged with drug-driving, and a decrease of 1562 charged with drink-driving.
In Byron Bay, 205 drivers were charged with drink driving, followed by Coffs Harbour (176), Dubbo (155), Griffith (144), Port Macquarie (144), Goulburn (99), Ballina (85), Blacktown (83), Orange (81), and Tweed Heads (79).
Surprisingly, not one far north coast centre featured in the top 10 list of drivers charged with drug-driving, despite north coast drivers being five times more likely to be charged with the offence, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics on May 20, 2017.
According to the police statistics released today, the ten worst suburbs across the state for drug-driving were: Armidale (174), Port Macquarie(152), Goulburn (145), Liverpool (113), Nowra (107), Taree (104), Mudgee (87), South Tamworth ((79), Young (77) and Griffith (75).
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the state’s Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said the statistics indicated some road users are getting the message, however, there are still too many who drink or take drugs and drive.
‘A decline in drink and drug-driving, shows that the message is starting to get across, and that the community will not tolerate those who put themselves and others at risk,’ he said.
‘However, it is still alarming to see that there were more than 17,000 drink-drivers, and more than 8,000 drug-drivers on our roads in the last financial year.
‘Every one of those drivers or riders have shown a complete lack of regard for not only their own life, but the lives of all others using the road.
‘Evidence is clear that drink and drug-drivers are costing lives on NSW roads.
‘We will not stop, and we make no apologies for catching and prosecuting anyone who thinks it’s okay to drink or take drugs and drive.’