REPEATED police warnings and extensive advertising has failed to deter drink-drivers, with the number being caught remaining constant.
And a worrying trend is that many drivers are recording high-range readings above 0.150.
There were 12 drink-driving matters for the usual list day at Albury Local Court this week, most were for higher readings.
Five of the matters involved high-range readings and four were in the middle-range prescribed concentration of alcohol between 0.08 and 0.150.
Anyone charged in those categories has their licence suspended immediately.
Magistrate Tony Murray this week expressed concern that many drivers with high-range readings were involved in accidents.
That is an aggravating factor under a NSW Court of Criminal Appeal guideline judgment handed down in September 2004.
In these instances, Mr Murray orders a pre-sentence report on offenders and some finish in jail.
Albury police duty officer Insp Dave Cottee said yesterday he was disappointed and surprised by so many high readings.
He said the area’s strong police presence allowed a high rates of random testing.
Insp Cottee said while it would be pleasing to see fewer people caught, that was not the reality.
“The chances of getting caught for drink-driving are very high,” he said.
“The chances of having an accident are likewise extremely high.”
The Court of Appeal judgment suggests drink-driving offenders caught twice for high-range range matters should go to jail.
It said moral culpability was increased by the degree of intoxication above 0.15, erratic or aggressive driving, a collision with any other object, competitive driving or showing off, the length of journey and the number of people at risk.
The judgment was welcomed by then-NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus, who said it would mean tougher sentences for driving-driving offenders.
“All those who have suffered tragic consequences because of drink drivers will find it extremely pleasing,” Mr Debus said.
“We expect the tougher sentencing for high-range offenders will flow down to mid and low-range offenders.
“The court highlighted the significance of moral culpability as part of this offence.
“Moral culpability is increased by passenger numbers, the level of intoxication and driving aggressiveness.”