The number of motorists caught drunk behind the wheel of a car has nearly tripled in Karratha in the past three months. From July 1-October 11, Karratha police stopped 77 drink-drivers, while in that period last year there were only 28 drivers charged. This is despite police stopping about the same number of cars for breath tests, with 2800 vehicles stopped compared with 2400 last year. One recent incident involved a man who was three times the limit when he ran through a red light while police were behind him. Another man was twice the limit at 7am on a Saturday in the suburbs. Karratha police acting officer-in-charge Sgt Ian Morris said it was “extremely disappointing”. “Most of those have been in the last eight weeks,” he said. “Over the weekend there was a number of fatalities — one in Hedland and one in the Kimberley. It’s only a matter of time. It’s one of the causal factors of fatal or serious crashes and it’s only good luck that we don’t have them in Karratha. “We make no apologies for the heavy-handed approach. “The target is to get to zero.” Sgt Morris said police had been conducting more random breath-testing in the suburbs where drivers least expected to be caught. “What Karratha police has done is generally the random breath-testing is done on main arterial routes, whether it’s top road or bottom road or the main ones going between the two,” he said. “Now we have changed our methodology where we are actually placing a car within suburbia in a street. “I think people don’t expect to see us within the suburbs. “We will change our way of doing things so we do stop the drink-driving because it’s completely unacceptable to have that many. “We cannot see any actual reason for the increase other than we are going where we are not expected and when we are not expected.” All drivers charged will face court in the coming months.