Learner blows 0.245

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL and KRISTY MARTIN

AN 18-year-old L-plater returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.245 in Byron Bay, police allege..

The driver was stopped by police when his station wagon was seen blocking a roundabout at the intersection of Jonson and Lawson streets about 1.45am on Wednesday.

Learner drivers are not allowed to have any alcohol in their blood when driving.

Police said the youth's ACT learner-driver permit was suspended on the spot. He is due to appear in Byron Bay Local Court January 25.

The incident has contributed to the Tweed-Byron region looking set to be named once again as the state's worst area for drink-driving.

New statistics have revealed 950 motorists were caught driving under the influence of alcohol in 2007 in the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command.

Highway patrol Sergeant Bill Darnell said the alarming figures meant the region would likely be named the worst in the state.

With the region's drink-driving figures reaching 833 in 2006, the 2007 figures have seen the number of offenders increase by 127.

Sgt Darnell said he was disappointed to see people were still taking risks, particularly over the holiday period.



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