South-west police are clamping down on impaired driving after two high-level drink-drivers were nabbed in the region in just 10 days.
A 32-year-old Laang man was intercepted in Yambuk on November 10 and blew .319 - more than six times the legal limit. Then on Saturday, a 33-year-old Warrnambool man blew .291 after causing a three-car collision in the city's central business district.
Warrnambool police Acting Sergeant Uwe Stolzenberg said police were called to the scene, at the intersection of Raglan Parade and Mahoneys Road, after the man drove into the back of two stationary cars, which were waiting to turn right into Mahoneys Road.
"The driver didn't brake and ran into the back of the second car. There were no skid marks, nothing," Acting Sergeant Stolzenberg said.
He said .291 was one of the highest drink-driving ranges he'd seen in his career.
"I'm normally from the Highway Patrol and that's just under my record of .294, which if you don't drink regularly you'd be dead. That's just ridiculous that type of a reading," the acting sergeant said.
"It's just outrageous from our perspective and then causing a collision due to drink-driving is just unacceptable behaviour."
Acting Sergeant Stolzenberg said ambulance attended, as well as a number of passing motorists who stopped to render assistance.
"It was lucky the two other drivers weren't seriously injured or himself either," he said.
Sergeant Stolzenberg said the man's licence was immediately suspended for 12 months and he would be charged on summons for drink-driving, careless driving and would appear at the Warrnambool Magistrates Court at a later date.
Victoria Police western region division two Superintendent Martin Hardy said the recent incidents highlighted "blatant and reckless driver behaviour with a disregard for their own safety and that of other road users".
"Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is simply not acceptable by any standard and this selfish behaviour puts lives at risk," he said.
"Significant monetary penalties and lengthy periods of loss of licence are applicable but this is not the true cost. The real cost is the lives lost, life-long injuries, trauma to loved ones, the community and the impact on first responders."
Superintendent Hardy said drink-driving was one of the biggest killers on Victoria's roads.
"Around one in four fatal collisions involve drivers and riders over the standard legal limit of 0.05," he said.
"Driving while under the influence of alcohol affects perception, vision, concentration, reaction time and causes drowsiness - all of which increase the chances of having a collision. It is not worth being caught, or worse - seriously injuring or killing yourself or other road users."
Superintendent Hardy said south-west police were conducting random breath tests at all times of day and night - on both main and back roads.
"Sometimes you'll know we're there, sometimes you won't," he said. "But let me be clear - police will be out breath testing and drug screening across the south-west. If you drive while impaired, we will not hesitate to hold you to account."
Superintendent Hardy said police would next month launch Operation Roadwise, a state-wide road policing operation from December 17 to 26.
"As we lead into the warmer months and holiday period with the expectation of an influx of people to enjoy the south-west, we will increase our efforts to keep the community safe to provide a highly visible and mobile police presence to reinforce positive driving behaviours and lessen the incidence of road trauma and to ensure road user compliance," he said.
Police will also continue to focus on drug-drivers.
"In the last five years, approximately 37 per cent of all drivers and motorcyclists killed had drugs in their system with cannabis and stimulants the most common," Superintendent Hardy said.
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