24 Jul 2017

Solomons' police chief concerned at drink driving offences

7:24 pm on 24 July 2017
Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley.

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley. Photo: Solomon Islands UNDP

The Solomon Islands' police commissioner has reiterated concerns with high numbers of people drinking alcohol and driving in the country.

Matthew Varley told the Solomon Star newspaper 36 drink drivers were caught in May, 28 in June and 11 so far this month.

Mr Varley said this corresponds with 32 traffic accidents in May, 32 in June and 18 in July.

The commissioner said police are still seeing people out on the roads drinking and driving at all hours of the day and night.

Mr Varley has appealed to the community and to the media to help get the message out that drink driving is a dangerous practice that makes the roads less safe for everyone.

Solomon Islands police have only been able to detect and charge drink drivers since June last year when new laws authorising the use of breathalysers were introduced.

Under the new laws first offenders can be fined up to $US 1284 and second offenders up to $US2567.

In both cases offenders will have their licences suspended and can also face up to 12 months imprisonment.

At the time the Director of the National Traffic Unit Paul Bulu had said he believed the penalties would be an effective deterrent.

But a year later police commissioner Varley said the message was still not getting through.

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