Poor post-pub transport spiking drink-drive rates
A SIGNIFICANT factor in the high drink-driving rate on the North Coast must be the lack of affordable, reliable public transport.
There are no trains running on our tracks and privatised bus services are very limited, especially at night, and fares are not cheap (it's now $38 one way from Brunswick Heads to Tweed).
Byron's Batbus was established to get kids home safely but drivers are reluctant to pick up drunk teenagers. Finding sober adults willing to collect their kids is often very difficult, particularly on weekends.
For people who live beyond the towns, the only way to get home is by taxi, if drivers are willing to take you to or pick you up from out-of-the-way places. Taxi drivers also don't like drunk passengers and the cost is prohibitive ($40+ from Byron to Brunswick).
Many big event organisers arrange transport to ensure their patrons get home safely and some local pubs and clubs have courtesy buses. This clearly should be encouraged and supported.
Another significant factor is the draconian parking rules implemented in Byron that prohibits overnight parking. Drunk people cannot sleep it off in their cars without incurring an expensive fine.
The introduction of these laws directly correlates with the dramatic increase in drink driving offences, but its unlikely Council will forgo the revenue or effectively deal with illegal camping caused by the excessive increase in camping fees.
It's surprising the Courts have not made the connection between transport options and drink driving. For anyone who's tried to get home after having one too many, the cause is blatantly obvious.