OPINION: Time for a bigger stick

IT IS easy to understand magistrate Robyn Denes's frustration with the procession of drink drivers that pass before her bench.

It is bad enough just reading about a few of the offenders who faced Grafton Local Court this week.

>> Court frustrated at endless string of drink driving offences

Imagine working through a lengthy list on a few days of the week, every week.

You wonder if the drivers of the North Coast will ever learn.

Surely refraining from drinking and driving is one of the most basic standards drivers should adhere to.

It's no more onerous than sticking to the speed limit and wearing a seat belt.

Ms Denes speculates about the endless queue that might form if the permissible blood alcohol level was cut to 0.02, but it is also worth wondering what effect stiffer penalties would have.

If we are collectively too thick or too selfish to get the message, maybe we need to be hit with an even bigger stick.

Larger fines and longer driving suspensions might be what are required to make people think twice about breaking the law and putting lives at risk.

Perhaps a campaign showing previous offenders talking about the impact of fines suspension on their lives would be effective, or of families talking about the impact of having loves ones killed or injured by drunk drivers.



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