BENDIGO police are urging drink-drivers to think before getting behind the wheel after dozens of people were caught breaking the law over the Christmas period.
During the 10-day police operation, the region's highway patrol officers conducted 6825 preliminary breath tests and nabbed 35 people driving while over the legal blood alcohol limit.
Bendigo Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Peter Dyer said it was a disappointing rise in drink-drivers compared to the same time last year.
"The Goldfields Shire was the most disappointing, with 13 drink-drivers alone in that council area," Acting Sergeant Dyer said.
"We picked up a lot of people who were driving the next day when they thought they were ok to drive.
"People just need to be aware of how much alcohol they're consuming. Just because you've gone to bed or had a sleep doesn't mean there won't be alcohol in your system."
During Operation Roadwise, there were 462 drink-driving offences detected across the state from 124,589 preliminary breath tests.
There were also 314 drug-driving offences picked up, while 3700 people were caught speeding on Victorian roads.
Acting Sergeant Dyer said 504 traffic offences were detected in the Bendigo region, with the majority being speeding drivers.
A Kangaroo Flat man will front the Bendigo Magistrates' Court next year after allegedly speeding at 170km/h near Mitiamo on Boxing Day.
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Acting Sergeant Dyer said while speeding continued to be a focus for police, drink-drivers also needed to be warned.
"We've been really lucky in our area that we haven't had any serious injury collisions during this period," he said. "It's a tick, it's a good thing, and we'd like that trend to continue.
"But with New Year's Eve coming up and the hot weather, we really want people to think about planning ahead.
"If you're drinking at all, don't drive. Take the car factor out of it entirely.
"If you do have a big night, don't take for granted that you'll be fine the next day. You might not be."
Acting Sergeant Dyer said police would continue to be out on the region's roads for the remainder of the holiday period.
"The police operation may have finished, but it's the business end of the year for us," he said.
"We'll continue to be out there. We conduct breath tests 24/7."
There have been 232 deaths of Victorian roads this year, compared to 210 deaths at the same time last year.
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