No escape


IT seems some residents of the Lower Clarence just aren't learning.

That is the reaction of Grafton highway patrol officer Constable Rob Goodwin after last weekend's random breath testing at Lawrence, Maclean and Yamba.

Const Goodwin said even after all the warnings of police breath testing in the area, people still ran the drink-driving gauntlet.

"We haven't tried to hide the fact we were going to be down there," he said.

"The general feeling is they believe they can take the back roads home and police won't get them... but we are always patrolling the back roads," Const Goodwin said.

He said while most people acknowledged they were over the limit when caught and accepted their fate, they failed to realise the full consequences of their actions.

"That's the biggest thing people actually fear, and when they realise their licence is going to be suspended that's when they become upset," he said.

"One gentleman the other night said he knew police were out and told himself he wouldn't drink-drive, but took the chance and got caught and lost his licence.

"His reaction was 'there's no-one else to blame but myself', and that's the general feeling.

"Most acknowledge it's a stupid thing to do and they shouldn't have done it."

Const Goodwin said the number of people caught drink-driving over the weekend, 16, equaled the highest amount ever caught in one weekend since operations were started down river.

"The majority of drink-drivers were locals, and we are surprised with the amount of locals we are getting," he said.

"A lot of locals do know by the first night that we are there and they'll assume we'll be there for the next two nights, and yet they still seem to drink-drive."

Const Goodwin said 14 other driving charges arose from the weekend, such as people driving while disqualified and driving without a licence.

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