South Australia Police has nabbed nearly 100 drivers in a drug and alcohol testing blitz that it simply called Operation Drink Drug Drive.
The drug and alcohol testing operation was held from 4pm on 18 August to midnight on 20 August across all metropolitan and rural SA roads. An impressive 11,271 tests were conducted during the period.
During the operation, 96 drivers were detected over the prescribed alcohol limit or with drugs in their systems.
The offences included:
- A 35-year-old driver who blew the highest blood alcohol level over the operation. The reading of 0.243 was nearly five times over the legal limit.
- Two learner drivers who were also caught during alcohol testing. They faced an immediate loss of licence.
- SA Police issued 71 immediate loss of licence notices and impounded 24 vehicles.
Drink Drug Drive blitzes are one tool that SA Police are using to improve safety on the roads in the 2023 to 2024 financial year. The blitzes aim to detect and deter drink and drug driving offences by conducting static and mobile random driver testing on South Australian roads.
Superintendent Darren Fielke appealed to all drivers to assess their fitness to drive before a police officer does.
“The great news is most people are doing the right thing. But the bad news is these 96 drivers made the wrong decision to get intoxicated and get behind the wheel.
“South Australia Police will continue to target road users who make the wrong choice to get intoxicated and drive. We will ensure intoxicated drivers get caught and pay the price so they don’t hurt themselves or their fellow road users doing the right thing.”
Roadside drug testing changes forthcoming over the ditch
In other news, New Zealand has taken an important step to provide police with the tools to get drug-impaired drivers off the road, by introducing roadside drug testing. The move will eventually see roadside drug testing treated similarly to how it’s handled in Australia.
Police in New Zealand already conduct compulsory impairment tests on drivers they have good cause to suspect have used drugs, but this testing isn’t conducted roadside and is not done in significant numbers.
“The introduction of roadside screening tests is a sensible, practical move that will detect qualifying drugs and help remove impaired drivers from behind the wheel,” said Police and Justice Minister, Ginny Andersen “Roadside screening tests will complement our existing process and will mean that Police will be able to drug test more drivers.
The amendments will also see the introduction of a new offence for people who refuse a roadside drug testing. These people will face an infringement fee of $400 and a loss of 75 demerit points.
“Road safety is a priority, and we are committed to reducing the devastating harm we see on our roads,” said Minister Andersen.
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A roadside drug and alcohol testing blitz in South Australia has caught 96 drivers doing the wrong thing. Credit Noor Yoosuf https://unsplash.com/photos/u18VMRVTh50 (image modified).