South-west police will target patrons leaving country hotels after four road fatalities in two months.
The region's police road safety adviser, Senior Sergeant Matt Wheeler, said it was concerning there was three separate fatal collisions between June 5 and August 5 in the region.
Four people died in collisions at Berrybank, Dixie and Cobden while another two men and three women were taken to hospitals for assessment and treatment.
"Investigations are continuing into whether alcohol was a contributing factor in all these collisions," the Senior Sergeant said.
"It's a worrying trend.
"There were two fatal collisions in one week.
"Police members are always out there targeting impaired drivers, but we are seeing an alarming trend."
Senior Sergeant Wheeler said there would be a targeted response, involving police member rostering and a focus on country-based licensed premises.
"We'll be stepping up our response, particularly aiming at those leaving licensed premises, whether they be hotels or sporting clubs.
"We've already increased our efforts in August and so far have intercepted nine people driving while impaired in the region covering Corangamite, Moyne, Glenelg, Warrnambool and Southern Grampians council areas."
The road safety adviser said everyone attending licensed premises needed to plan and if they were drinking had to find an alternate way of getting home. "That's particularly relevant in remote areas. You need to have a designated driver, it's absolutely essential," Senior Sergeant Wheeler said.
"There's never an excuse to dry while impaired by alcohol or illicit substances.
"As part of our response there will be a lot more patrons being intercepted leaving country hotels and licensed venues."
Police suspect speed, fatigue and possibly alcohol were contributing factors to a double-fatality crash near Berrybank late Friday last week.
A 33-year-old Werneth driver and his 16-year-old Rockbank passenger died after a crash about 11pm.
Police say the driver lost control of his Toyota HiLux, ran off the road and collided with a tree near an intersection at the Hamilton Highway and Berrybank-Wallinduc Road.
At Dixie on Saturday, July 30, Courtney Mitcham, 19, is suspected of having a blood alcohol content of at least .120 when she allegedly crashed a white Jeep Cherokee into a tree on Cobden-Terang Road.
Police allege she shared a photo of the vehicle on fire on social media before calling emergency services for help.
Her friend Adrian Phipps, 23, was trapped inside the vehicle and is suspected to have died on impact.
A second passenger, a 21-year-old woman, got herself out of the vehicle before the fire and suffered serious injuries. Ms Mitcham has been charged with culpable driving causing death and has been remanded in custody until November.
In the early hours of Sunday, June 5, three Irish nationals were travelling in an Holden Astra sedan near Cobden which collided with a Holden Colorado at 1.18am being driven by a female bartender who had been serving them at a local hotel.
Passenger, 18-year-old Max Boggs, was ejected from the vehicle and died. Mark Doughty, 25, has been charged with dangerous driving causing death and bailed until October 28.
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