Police Minister Bob Wiese today sent a sobering message to all Western Australian motorists urging them not to drink and drive - especially drinking to excess and then driving the next day.
At the launch of the Easter road safety campaign, Operation Survive 96, Mr Wiese said there was still a group of motorists prepared to play Russian roulette with their lives and the safety of other road users by `binge' drinking and then taking to the roads the following morning.
"Easter is a traditionally a period for people to travel to holiday destinations, relax and celebrate and there is nothing wrong with having a good time and a few drinks," Mr Wiese said.
"However, if people become involved in a heavy drinking session, then as drivers they should be aware that they can still be well over the limit the next day.
"To embark on a long, tiring drive to or from a holiday destination after being involved in a bout of heavy drinking is a virtual death wish and threatens the safety of all people in the car and other road users."
Mr Wiese said recent statistics from the `Booze Bus' operations highlighted that certain motorists were still running the gauntlet by showing high blood alcohol readings the following morning.
During mobile breath test operations between 8 am and midday there had been a total of 259 drivers caught with a blood alcohol reading over the .05 limit and 241 drivers for being over .08.
Mr Wiese said alcohol and speed were contributing causes to four serious crashes during last year's Easter campaign. During the campaign four people died and 11 people were seriously injured.
"Booze buses will be operating on roads leading out to country regions during the Easter campaign and also in some major country holiday venues," he said.
Mr Wiese said driver fatigue was the big killer during this period with nearly 70 per cent of fatalities over the last five Easter long weekends taking place on country roads.
"City drivers who plan on travelling long distances need to be aware of the dangers of fatigue and to ensure their vehicles are in safe condition - especially tyres and lights," he said.
"Most importantly drivers must take advantage of the numerous reviver stops throughout the State and drive to stay alive this Easter - drive to survive."
Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595 or 322 2311