UNACCEPTABLE drink driving offences and a series of single vehicle crashes have left local police disappointed, with festive flouting of the law likely to prompt an increased focus on the roads throughout 2018.
Some 44 drink drivers were detected in the Wangaratta Police Service Area (PSA) during the 24-day Operation Roadwise, running from Christmas and the holiday period, ending on Sunday night.
Senior Sergeant Colleen Sheridan of Wangaratta police said the 44 offenders resulted from 7644 random breath tests, and a total of 588 other offences – from speeding to illegally using mobile phones – were also detected on the roads.
Statewide, 23 people lost their lives during Operation Roadwise and a total of 31,293 traffic offences were detected, including 1113 drink drivers, 784 drug drivers and 10,595 speeding drivers.
Sergeant Jeff Kyne of Wangaratta police said the number of offenders caught on roads in the Wangaratta PSA – spanning the Rural City of Wangaratta and neighbouring Moira and Alpine shires – during the operation was “fairly disappointing”.
He said that despite the warnings, too many drivers were blasé about their alcohol intake over the festive period.
Sgt Kyne said officers were surprised by the number of drink drivers they caught in Wangaratta on random tests.
“On one nightshift alone in town we detected three drink drivers,” he said.