Thousands fuelled by drugs or booze on Central QLD’s roads

POLICE are pleading with Central Queensland drivers to use common sense as wider use of roadside drug testing reveals hundreds of offenders risking lives on the region's roads.

Statistics reveal there were 978 cases of people driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.15 or higher or under the influence of drugs in the Capricornia district in a year.

The Queensland Police Service Annual Statistical Review 2014/15 showed these high-level offences were among 4302 in total for drink driving in the district that includes Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Senior Constable Nick Lindholm, from the Calliope Road Policing Unit, said police were concerned about the number of drink and drug drivers getting caught in the region - as well as how many were getting away with it.

"We catch a good percentage of them, however police can't be everywhere all the time and it's very concerning that drivers do take such a casual attitude to the offence," Snr Const Lindholm said.

However, he said the increasing number of officers trained in roadside drug testing was helping crack down on offenders.

Snr Const Lindholm said "common sense should always prevail" and people planning on a big night should organise a designated driver or take public transport or a taxi home.

He said you did not have to be a rocket scientist to work out you should not drive drunk or after taking drugs.

"If you're taking something that you shouldn't be taking you obviously shouldn't be driving," he said.

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said the high number of drink and drug drivers on our roads was alarming.

"It's incredibly concerning that that many people have been caught around regional Queensland either affected by drugs or alcohol," Ms Ritchie said.

Ms Ritchie said driving impaired was one of the fatal five for a reason, with alcohol being linked to about a quarter of deaths on the state's roads.

"We would obviously encourage the police to continue random breath testing and drug testing around Queensland," she said.



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