High range drink-driving cause for concern – Operation Tortoise Day Four

A truck driver is one of a number of drivers charged with high-range drink driving on the fourth day of Operation Tortoise.

A Kenworth B Double was allegedly seen swerving across lanes of traffic whilst travelling north on the M5 and M7, about 12.20pm yesterday (Sunday 21 April 2019).

The truck left the M7 at the Bernera Road exit before stopping and attempting to reverse back onto the motorway. Stopped by traffic behind, the truck has continued driving and jack-knifed whilst attempting to conduct a U-turn at a nearby service station.

The driver attempted to keep driving and was detained by members of the public before police arrived.

The 49-year-old driver was arrested and returned an alleged reading of 0.282.

He was charged with drive with high range PCA, solo driver work more than standard maximum time, and driver not give information to record keeper as prescribed. His licence was also suspended.

The Queensland man was granted conditional bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday 24 April 2019.

Operation Tortoise, the state’s Easter long-weekend road safety operation, started at 12.01am on Thursday 18 April 2019 and will run until 11.59am today (Monday 22 April 2019).

Police across NSW will be targeting all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences, which will attract double demerit points.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said there are no excuses for anyone to drive after drinking to excess.

“So far officers have conducted more than 250,000 breath tests – 27,775 more than the same period last year,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

“With 228 people charged with drink driving offences, we are past the point of being disappointed, we are now angry that drivers are not listening to our warnings.

“Too many people are risking their own and other people’s lives with their reckless and stupid decisions.

“The message is clearly still not getting through and I fear that for many of the drivers and riders out there, it may only sink in after it’s too late,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Some examples of inappropriate driver behaviour detected during Day 4 (Sunday 21 April 2019):

An unlicenced 16-year-old male has been charged with refusing to provide a blood or urine sample after he was stopped at a random breath testing site at Rouse Hill about 3am yesterday (Sunday 21 April 2019). The Enmore teen was unable to produce a driver’s licence and during a search of vehicle, officers allegedly located cannabis. He was charged with never licenced person drive on road, refuse to provide blood or urine sample, and breach of bail and refused bail to appear at a children’s court today (Monday 22 April 2019).

A 30-year-old man has been charged with high-range drink driving after a head-on crash at Edensor Park about 2.13am yesterday (Sunday 21 April 2019. A Honda Civic has allegedly driven onto the incorrect side of Edensor Road and collided head on with a Toyota Landcruiser. After stopping, the driver conducted a U-turn in an attempt to flee, before crashing into a police vehicle. The Bonnyrigg man was arrested and returned an alleged reading of 0.220. He was charged with drive with high range PCA and his licence was also suspended.

An unlicenced 45-year-old man has been charged with high-range drink driving after being stopped at Liverpool just after 3am yesterday (Sunday 21 April 2019). A Mazda 3 was seen travelling south on the Hume Highway before turning left into Rose Street and conducting a U-turn. Officers stopped the vehicle and subjected the driver to a breath test, returning a positive result. The Miller man was arrested and returned an alleged reading of 0.222. He was charged with drive with high range PCA and never licensed person drive vehicle on road and will appear at Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday 15 May 2019.

A 33-year-old man has been charged with high-range drink driving after being stopped at a random breath testing site at Gordon about 2.20am today (Monday 22 April 2019). A Mazda was stopped on the Pacific Highway and the driver subjected to a breath test, returning a positive result. The Nelson Bay man was arrested and returned an alleged reading of 0.228. He was charged with drive with high range PCA and will appear at Hornsby Local Court at a later date. His licence was also suspended.

A 49-year-old man has been charged with two counts of high-range drink driving after being stopped in the Newcastle area yesterday (Sunday 21 April 2019). A Holden Colorado was stopped at a random breath testing site on Maitland Road at Mayfield about 9.50pm. The driver was subjected to a breath test, returning a positive result. The Carrington man was arrested and returned an alleged reading of 0.198. He was charged with drive with high range PCA. About 10.50pm the same night, the man was seen to move the Holden. The driver was subjected to a second breath test, returning a positive result before returning an alleged reading of 0.198. He was charged with drive with high range PCA and given strict bail conditions to appear at Newcastle Local Court on Thursday 6 June 2019 for both offences.

A 23-year-old woman has been charged with high-range drink driving after a crash at South Albury. Highway Patrol officers attended David Street about 10.40pm yesterday (Sunday 21 April 2019), after a Mitsubishi SUV hit a parked 4WD, pushing it into a parked Holden station wagon. The driver was subjected to a roadside breath test, returning a positive result. The woman was arrested and returned an alleged reading of 0.220. She was charged with drive with high range PCA to appear at Albury Local Court on Monday 13 May 2019. Her licence was also suspended.

Additionally, about 12.45am today (Monday 22 April 2019), officers attached to Penrith Highway Patrol attempted to stop a Holden Commodore after it was detected travelling at 104km/h in a 60km/h zone on Werrington Road, Werrington. The Holden failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated. A female passenger got out of the Holden on Kazanis Circuit, before it continued into Princess Street where the male driver got out and ran. The 37-year-old man was arrested and charged with seven driving offences including exceed speed over 30km/h, police pursuit not stop – Skye’s Law, drive while licence suspended, and drive unregistered/uninsured vehicle. He was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court today (Monday 22 April 2019).

Key statistics (Cumulative total – started on 18 April 2019):

Total infringements issued (not speeding): 8,337

Speed infringements: 5,182

Breath tests: 255,323

Drink-driving charges: 228

Lives lost: 3

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