News

Watch it: drunks up ahead as Noosa swerves off the road

WHILE the whole Sunshine Coast pleads guilty to alarming figures, police say Noosa is a standout shame.

Noosa has previously lodged figures of about 30 a month - that's about one person per day.

As a whole, the Sunshine Coast is demonstrating a shocking disregard for the consequences of drink-driving, with statistics showing that of more than 50% of fatal road accidents, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major contributing factor.

Senior Sergeant David Bradley, office in Charge of Sunshine Coast District Prosecution Corps said he was baffled as to why the anti-drink-driving message wasn't getting through to the Coast community.

Sgt Bradley, who moved from his job as senior prosecutor in Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast position six months ago, said he had been "stunned" by the number of DUI offences.

"State-wide figures are much, much lower," he said.

Statistics point to a figure of about 36%.

"Last Monday night 10 drink drivers were picked up," he said.

"It wasn't even Saturday night."

Snr Sgt Bradley is also concerned over the leniency of sentencing.

He said that in Noosa Magistrates last week out of out of 35 appearances for DUI, only three recorded convictions.

"Penalties are not necessarily reflecting criminality," he said.

This week in Noosa Magistrates Court, people lined up with their cases.

Kara Spurgeon, 18, of Boreen Point, pleaded guilty to a drink driving reading of 0.128, nearly three times the legal limit. The court was told she was the designated driver out of two other friends, "because she was the most fit to drive".

On the way home, she crashed into a tree.

Fortunately neither she nor the two passengers were seriously injured.

She received a $500 fine and three months disqualification of license.

No conviction was recorded.

Another local, Sarah Lee Arnold, 36, of Sunrise Beach was charged with drink driving reading of 0.133 while on a North Queensland holiday.

The court was told she and her partner had arrived at a restaurant in a rental car.

She wasn't going to drink but changed her mind.

Because she was concerned about leaving the hire car overnight, she drove home. It wasn't her first offence. She was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for eight months.

Topics:  drink-driving, road safety


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