23 January 2024

Police operation busts more than 50 people allegedly under the influence on our roads

| Zoe Cartwright
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Police operation

NSW Police are concerned about an increase in driving offences. Photo: File.

More than 50 people were charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the weekend as part of a NSW Police safety blitz.

‘Operation Fume’ was conducted across the Illawarra, South Coast, Monaro and Hume on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January.

The high-visibility operation involved officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, supported by the Southern Region Regional Enforcement Squad, the Dog Unit and other specialist resources.

A NSW Police spokesperson said they issued 175 traffic infringements, laid 16 drink-driving charges and 40 drug-driving charges, allegedly detected 15 unlicensed drivers driving, conducted 1600 random breath tests and 458 random drug tests.

The spokesperson said one of the worst examples of driver behaviour detected during the operation included an alleged unlicensed man who was allegedly driving on the Illawarra Highway under the influence of drugs.

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“At about 6:15 pm on Saturday officers spotted a Holden Cruze travelling along the Illawarra Highway at Mt Murray, about 28 km west of Shellharbour, allegedly being driven by a man known to them,” the spokespersons said.

“When the vehicle stopped a short time later, police will allege a woman was now occupying the driver’s seat while the man was in the rear passenger seat.

“The 57-year-old man and 31-year-old woman were subjected to a roadside drug test, [allegedly] returning a positive result.

“The man was also [allegedly] found in possession of prohibited drugs.

“The 57-year-old man and 31-year-old woman were taken to Moss Vale Station, where they both allegedly returned positive results to a secondary drug test.”

The man was charged with driving while disqualified, driving without proper control, possessing a prohibited drug, and breaching bail. He was refused bail to appear in Moss Vale Local Court on Monday (22 January). The woman was also issued a court attendance notice for driving while suspended.

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In another incident on Saturday, police allege a 26-year-old was driving at almost 150 km/h while under the influence of alcohol.

“At about 9:30 pm on Saturday, officers allegedly detected a Mazda 3 travelling 146 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the Princes Highway, Bimbimbie, about 15 km South of Batemans Bay,” the spokesperson said.

“The vehicle was stopped and the driver – a 26-year-old man – was stopped for a random breath test, returning [an alleged] positive result.

“He was arrested and taken to Batemans Bay Police Station where a breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.112.”

The 26-year-old was issued a court attendance notice for drive with mid-range PCA and his licence was suspended. He was also issued an infringement notice for exceed speed.

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