Learner driver caught drink-driving on Christmas Eve

Sunday, 15. September 2019

A learner driver meant to be driving with no alcohol in his system was stopped in Batemans Bay on Christmas Eve allegedly with a blood alcohol level of 0.162.

He was also allegedly driving alone.

Police said the 23-year-old Batemans Bay man was driving a sedan along Golf Links Drive about 11.30pm Tuesday when he was stopped for a roadside breath test.

He was arrested and taken to Batemans Bay Police Station where he allegedly returned a reading of 0.162. His licence was suspended and he was charged with high-range drink-driving, being an unaccompanied learner, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle and failing to display his L-plates.

He will appear at Batemans Bay Local Court on February 3.

Operation Safe Arrival, the annual Christmas/New Year traffic enforcement campaign, was launched in NSW on Friday and will finish on Thursday, January 2.

Double demerits are being enforced during the operation and will remain in place until Wednesday, January 1, for speeding, seatbelt and helmet offences.

NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said ‘‘driving with minimal experience and under the influence of alcohol could have easily led to a fatal crash’’.

He said the ongoing infringement notices issued for drink-driving, driving unrestrained and speeding were disappointing.

“Drivers should be especially vigilant during the festive season, given the increased road traffic statistics at this time of year,” he said.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] we had 613 speed traffic infringement notices issued around the state, almost 435 more than the same time last year. Speeding to your destination is not worth the risk of not arriving at all.

“Another disappointing result during Operation Safe Arrival so far this year is motorists failing to use seatbelts, when they are proven to prevent serious injuries and death in crashes.

“We are one fatal crash more than at the same time last year.’’

Key statistics up to day 5 of Operation Safe Arrival are:

Road toll: Four

Speeding infringements: 4554

Breath tests: 200,250

Drink-driving charges: 231

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