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Drug, booze testing buses hit WA streets

Western Australian drink and drug drivers who use backstreets to evade police will now see testing buses set up on those roads.

Two smaller and more manoeuvrable Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 516 vans, costing $772,000, will hit the streets to help police catch impaired drivers.

The vehicles will have better access to backstreet and rural roads and will replace Breath and Drug Bus 2, which had been in service since 2002.

More than 717 drivers were caught for drink driving while 522 tested positive to illicit drugs since testing operations recommended on June 6.

They were temporarily suspended during the peak of COVID-19.

Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said the vans were more versatile and gave police greater flexibility when choosing roads to set up on.

"Police will be better able to access back streets and rat runs where drink drivers may think they can get away," she said.

"And they will be more readily deployable to rural and regional roads.

"I hope people will heed the message and if you plan to drink, then make a plan to get home, that doesn't involve driving yourself."

© AAP 2020