As Australian-led troops and police banish fear and the threat of violence from the Solomons Islands, expatriates have their own concerns to contend with: an end to drink-driving. Like any community of foreigners living in a remote tropical outpost, social life for the 200 expatriates in Honiara, the capital of the Solomons, revolves largely around boozing in the shade of coconut palms. The fear is that once police from the Australian-led intervention force complete their seizure of illegal weapons in the South Pacific country they will turn their attention to lesser crimes, such as drink-driving. 'Everyone drinks and drives,' said the Australian manager of a local business. 'The issue of breath testing is the most serious question in the minds of expats.' Until now the Royal Solomons Islands Police, which is rife with corruption, has turned a blind eye to inebriated expatriates winding their way home along the deeply pot-holed roads of Honiara. There are no speed guns and no breath-testing machines on any of the Solomons' nearly 1,000 islands, which stretch east of Papua New Guinea. The force, which has been accused of extortion and intimidation, is under-paid, badly trained and poorly motivated. But now it is being reinforced by hundreds of officers from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and other Pacific countries as part of a multimillion-dollar mission to restore law and order to the Solomons, which has been brought to near bankruptcy by years of civil war. Joint patrols, involving foreign police officers and their local counterparts, began within hours of the vanguard of the force arriving in the Solomons on Thursday. Honiara's most popular expatriate drinking den, the Point Cruz Yacht Club, is rife with rumours of random breath-testing, speed checks and even a curfew. 'The yacht club would go bankrupt,' says a German-born expatriate who has lived in Honiara for 11 years. 'Some people live 5 or 6km away. It's too far to walk and taxis are expensive.' The head of the intervention force's police contingent, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Ben McKnight, said his main priority was to encourage the surrender of the estimated 700 automatic weapons held illegally by former militants. Only when the weapons are surrendered or seized will international police begin to tackle issues such as illegal drugs, theft and domestic violence. As yet, Mr McKnight has made no mention of the drink-driving issue. But for many expatriates watching the sun set over the sea from the Point Cruz Yacht Club, it is only a matter of time.