Western Australian Police will saturate freeways, busy major roads and quiet suburban streets across the State on the next three weekends in a massive campaign targeting drink driving.
Police Minister Rob Johnson and Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan today launched Operation Octopus, which will begin tonight and run until the end of the month.
The State Government has provided $300,000 towards the operation, which will fund 5,000 extra patrol hours.
Mr Johnson said the State-wide campaign would focus on drink driving and other offences, particularly on roads in and around licensed premises during times of increased alcohol consumption.
“Summer is traditionally a time when people are out socialising, however I am urging them that if they are planning to drink, then they should make plans not to drive,” he said.
“Alcohol is one of the top three causes of road trauma, and drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash.
“This operation aims to reinforce the ‘anywhere, anytime’ message to motorists who think they can escape detection by taking the back streets home if they’ve had too much to drink.
“WA Police have mapped out the areas to target based on information supplied by local police districts, traffic intelligence services and the liquor enforcement division, so my message to these motorists is that they will be caught.”
The Minister said he had introduced amendments to the Road Traffic Act 1974 last year which would allow WA Police to arrest without warrant any driver with a blood alcohol content of, or above, 0.08.
The 2009-10 Operation Octopus was extremely successful, with 337 drink and drug related offences detected. There were 43 arrests and 107 other charges relating to anti-social, crime and liquor offences detected during the operation.
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan welcomed the additional funding and said Operation Octopus would significantly boost the capacity of police to target drink drivers during this busy time of the year.
“Last year, 193 people were killed on WA roads and a further 277 were critically injured. WA Police and the State Government will continue to focus on impaired drivers, but the rest is up to individuals,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
"Motorists need to take responsibility and drive safely for themselves, their passengers and other road users.”
Minister's office - 9222 9211