Operation Fume wrap - Southern Region

More than 300 traffic infringements were issued and 49 people have been charged with drug-driving offences following a traffic operation in Southern Region at the weekend.

Operation Fume ran on Friday 10 February and Saturday 11 February 2023 across the Wollongong, Lake Illawarra, Hume, South Coast, and Monaro Police Districts, targeting drug and alcohol-related driving offences, and general road compliance.

The high-visibility operation involved officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, supported by the Dog & Mounted Command, Polair, and General Duties officers from local commands.

During the operation, police across the Southern Region conducted more than more than 450 roadside drug tests resulting in 49 positive drug tests; the results of which will undergo further analysis.

Police also conducted more than 4100 random breath tests which resulted in 28 people being charged with drink-driving offences. Of those, 13 were mid-range PCA.

58 motorists were detected exceeding the speed limit.

Incidents of note:

- About 10.30pm on Friday 10 February 2023, a 16-year-old boy was allegedly detected riding an unregistered trail bike on Northcliffe Drive, Lake Heights, and failed to stop when directed. No pursuit was initiated, and the boy was later arrested in Warrawong, He was taken to Lake Illawarra Police District where he was charged with low-range PCA, unlicenced for class R, not comply with direction to stop/move etc light vehicle, use unregistered registrable Class A motor vehicle on road, motor vehicle on road, motor bike rider (alone) not wear/secure fit approved helmet, and driver or rider state false name or home address. He also allegedly tested positive to a roadside drug test; the results of which will undergo further analysis. The boy will appear in a children's court on Monday 1 May 2023.

- Just after 1am on Saturday 11 February 2023, Nowra Highway Patrol officers stopped a 24-year-old man in Vincentia, who was disqualified from driving and allegedly provided police with a false name. Checks revealed he was wanted by NSW Police for alleged break and enter and weapons offences in Albury and was also wanted by Victoria Police.

- About 2.35am on Saturday 11 February 2023, Goulburn Highway Patrol officers stopped the driver of a learner vehicle – a 33-year-old man – who allegedly tested positive to cannabis and methamphetamine. His supervisor – a 27-year-old woman – also allegedly tested positive to methamphetamine in a roadside drug test. The results of both will undergo further analysis.

- About 10.30pm on Saturday 11 February 2023, Lake Illawarra Highway Patrol officer stopped a vehicle on Todd Street, Warrawong. Checks revealed the driver – a 47-year-old man – was an unaccompanied learner. A search of the vehicle uncovered several industrial tools police will allege were stolen. He was issued a traffic infringement notice, charged with goods in custody, and suspended from driving for three months. His female passenger was also issued a cannabis caution.

- About 11pm on Saturday 11 February 2023, approximately 50 vehicles were seen blocking the Princes Highway, Darkes Forest, street racing and conducting burnouts. Highway Patrol officers attended and broke up the crowd of about 100 people. Several defect notices were issued to drivers. Inquiries are continuing.

Similar traffic operations are expected in the future.

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