ACT Policing has warned Canberrans they will be out in large numbers this weekend, conducting targeted and random breath tests ahead of both the NRL and AFL grand finals.
Officer in Charge of Road Policing, Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman, reminded road users there are no excuses for drink or drug driving.
“We want Canberrans to have fun and enjoy themselves celebrating, but don’t go over the top,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
“We will be targeting antisocial behaviour and anyone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
Between January and September this year, 649 people have been charged with drink driving offences in comparison with 704 people in the same time period during 2019.
An ACT Policing spokesperson said it was hard to say definitively whether events such as the football finals increased the number of drink drivers.
“This is difficult to quantify; however, any large event where alcohol is being consumed has the potential for an increase in people drink driving,” they said.
Detective Boorman said it was a simple choice between drinking or driving.
“There are plenty of public transport options in the ACT and they’re all better than gambling with your safety or licence,” he said.
“Police will be in locations across Canberra conducting both targeted and random breath tests on drivers. If you take the risk of driving under the influence, you will get caught.”
ACT Policing have stated the same message will continue as the region goes into spring racing season, and particularly for larger events such as the Melbourne Cup.
“Police are hoping people get the message ‘if you’re going to drink, don’t drive’ as we will continue to undertake RBT activities on our road,” the spokesperson said.
“When Canberra has special events, such as Melbourne Cup, a particular focus is given to ensure a visible police presence.
“It doesn’t matter where someone is drinking, whether at a large event or a small gathering at someone’s residence, the message is the same: ‘don’t drink and drive’.”