Drink driving offences a concern in Western Region – Operation Slow Down

An alarming number of drink driving offences were detected within the Western Region during a three-day traffic operation over the October long weekend.

Operation Slow Down – a high-visibility traffic operation – was launched at midnight on Friday (4 October 2019) and continued until 11.59pm yesterday (Monday 7 October 2019).

Across the region, police conducted 17,948 breath tests, 611 speed infringements, 21 PCA charges, and attended 15 major crashes.

Western Region Traffic Tactician, Inspector Ben Macfarlane, said while he was pleased to report no fatalities within the region throughout the operation, the number of drink driving offences is a concern.

“It is alarming that motorists continue to drink and drive and these offences are occurring in both remote areas and townships across the region.

“Police will continue to target these offences leading into the Christmas period with the aim of reducing road trauma across the region,” Inspector Macfarlane said.

Some examples of irresponsible driver behaviour detected throughout Operation Slow Down in Western Region include:

About 12.55pm on Friday (4 October 2019), police from Orana Mid Western Police District observed a man driving an unregistered vehicle with false plates in Yeoval. Police attempted the stop the vehicle to speak with the driver who was wanted for serious offences. A lengthy pursuit commenced with the driver being arrested after a short foot pursuit and charged with destroy or damage property, recklessly deal with proceeds of crime, possess prohibited drug (x4), police pursuit and drive during disqualification period. The man was bail refused to appear before Dubbo Local Court on Friday (11 October 2019).

About 5pm on Saturday (5 October 2019), officers attached to Central West Police District detected a Ford Falcon travelling at 140km/h on Millthorpe Road at Millthorpe. Officers spoke with the driver, a woman aged 27, and observed a three-year-old child in the back seat. The P2 licence holder was issued with infringements for P2 exceed speed over 30km/h and unrestrained child. She was issued a suspension notice.

About 8.30am on Saturday (5 October 2019), Lithgow Highway Patrol stopped a Holden Astra for the purpose of an RBT. Further inquiries revealed the 29-year-old female was a suspended driver. She was issued a Licence Suspension Advice and advised she was not permitted to drive. At 9am the same date, Mudgee Highway Patrol stopped the same driver on the Castlereagh Highway at Round Swamp. She was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice and directed not to drive. About 11am the same date, the woman was stopped again on the Castlereagh Highway at Galambine. She was arrested and searched, during which police allegedly located a quantity of methylamphetamine in her handbag. The woman was taken to Mudgee Police Station where she was charged and granted conditional bail to Mudgee Local Court on Wednesday 20 November 2019.

About 5pm on Saturday (5 October 2019), officers from Orana Mid Western Police District stopped a vehicle travelling along the Oxley Highway near Warren for the purpose of a random breath rest. The driver, a man aged 51, was arrested and taken to Warren Police Station after returning a positive reading for alcohol. The man returned a reading of 0.220. His licence was suspended, and he was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice to appear before Warren Local Court on Friday 1 November 2019.

About 11.05pm on Saturday (5 October 2019), a 25-year-old man from Queensland failed to stop at an RBT site conducted by Dareton Highway Patrol. Police located the accused as he drove the vehicle into a driveway and allegedly ran to the backyard of the residence. Police located the man hiding underneath a vehicle in the yard. He was arrested and taken to Dareton Police Station where he returned a high range breath analysis of 0.221. The man was charged with high range PCA, drive manner dangerous, fail to comply with police direction, and his licence was suspended. He will appear before Wentworth Local Court on Tuesday 3 December 2019.

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