More than 300 drivers charged with drink-driving over Easter

Police have charged 310 people with drink driving on NSW roads during a high-visibility operation over the Easter long weekend.

Easter Operation 2021 began at 12.01am on Thursday last week (1 April 2021) and ended at 11:59pm yesterday (Monday 5 April 2021).

Double-demerit points were in force throughout the period for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.

Officers were also targeting other high-risk driver behaviour, including the Four Ds: drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb, said the despite the warning officers charged 310 people across the state with drink driving.

“It’s disappointing that there are still people in the community who aren’t getting the message and are putting themselves and others at risk with reckless behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

“Our message to road users is that police can be anywhere, anytime throughout the year; and we’ll be targeting high-risk behaviour, including drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.”

Five people died in crashes on NSW roads during the Easter Operation, two more than last year. A total of 78 people have lost their lives on NSW roads to date this year, compared to 84 the same time last year.

Other incidents of note include:

  • At 10.20pm yesterday (Monday 5 April 2021), officers detected the driver of an Audi A4 allegedly travelling about 155km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Pacific Highway, Coopernook, north of Taree. Officers stopped the driver, a 23-year-old man, and he was subjected to a roadside breath test, which allegedly returned a positive result. Checks revealed the man had never held a NSW drivers licence and he was disqualified from holding one until July 2022. He was arrested and taken to Taree Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned a positive reading of 0.126. The man was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, class A m/v exceed speed more than 45 km/h, and drive with middle range PCA. He was granted conditional bail to appear at Taree Local Court on Tuesday 4 May 2021.
  • Officers stopped the driver of a Toyota Hilux travelling south on Renshaw Mcgirr Way, between Yeoval and Wellington, for the purposes of a random breath test, about 8.30am on Sunday (4 April 2021). The 40-year-old man allegedly returned a positive result and was taken to Wellington Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis allegedly returned a reading of 0.184. He was issued a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) for drive with high range PCA and is due to appear at Wellington Local Court on Tuesday 20 April 2021. His licence was suspended.
  • About 3.20pm on Saturday (April 3, 2021), officers were conducting stationary speed enforcement duties on the Hume Highway, Coolac, when they detected the driver of a Subaru Liberty travelling at 128km/h in a 110km/h zone. Officers stopped the car and spoke to the p-plate driver, a 41-year-old man, and his passenger, a 33-year-old man. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers allegedly found a small resealable bag containing methylamphetamine (ice) and an ice pipe. Further checks revealed the passenger was wanted by police after he was allegedly involved in a pursuit in a stolen car from Queensland about 7am that day, before abandoning the car on Speedway Road, Goulburn. The passenger was arrested and searched by officers, who allegedly located a pocketknife. He was taken to Gundagai Police Station, where he was charged with receive property stolen outside NSW, police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously, goods in personal custody suspected being stolen (not motor vehicle), possess prohibited drug, and custody of knife in public place. He was refused bail and appeared in Wagga Wagga Local Court where is was formally refused bail to appear before Goulburn Local Court today (Tuesday 6 April 2021). The driver was subject to a roadside drug test which allegedly returned a positive result. He was also was arrested and taken to Gundagai Police Station, where he was subjected to a secondary drug test, which also allegedly returned a positive result to methylamphetamine. His licence was suspended; and he was released pending further inquiries.
  • About 10.10am on Sunday (4 April 2021), police were called after a Toyota Rav 4 broke down on the M5 at St Peters, and the driver ­– a 31-year-old man – allegedly refused tow truck support and to exit the tunnel. The man was spoken to and searched, with police locating small clear resealable bags containing a crystal-like substance and a small water pipe. The man allegedly became aggressive with police and resisted arrest. He was taken to Newtown Police Station where he then allegedly refused a breath analysis. During a subsequent search of the man, officers allegedly found cash and house breaking implements. He was charged with a range of offences including wilfully prevent free passage of person/vehicle/vessel, possess prohibited drug, resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty, refuse or fail to submit to breath test, goods suspected stolen in/on premises (not motor vehicle), two counts of goods in personal custody suspected being stolen (not motor vehicle), possess housebreaking implements, and custody of knife in public place. He was refused bail to appear in Parramatta Local Court yesterday (Monday 4 April 2021), where he was formally refused bail to appear in the same court today (Tuesday 6 April 2021).

Key statistics:

• Speed infringements: 5,411

• Breath tests: 129,589

• PCA: 310

• Major crashes: 387

• Fatalities: 5

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Regional statistics:

Western Region Figures as follows

Restraint Infringements – 67

Mobile phone infringements – 12

Speed infringements – 744

Breath Tests – 14,910

PCA charges – 39

Fatal Crashes – 0

Lives Lost – 0

Reported major crashes – 22

People injured – 7

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Southern Region Figures as follows

Restraint Infringements – 63

Mobile phone infringements – 26

Speed infringements – 1,322

Breath Tests – 23,634

PCA charges – 58

Fatal Crashes – 2

Lives Lost – 4

Reported major crashes – 46

People injured – 20

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Northern Region Figures as follows

Restraint Infringements – 64

Mobile phone infringements – 50

Speed infringements – 1,513

Breath Tests – 20,862

PCA charges – 88

Fatal Crashes – 0

Lives Lost – 0

Reported major crashes – 68

People injured – 37

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