Police charge man with high-range PCA after being reported for dangerous driving during Australia Day Operation

Police have charged a man with high range PCA in Port Stephens after a member of the public reported him for dangerous driving before confiscating his keys when he pulled over, during the Australian Day road-safety operation.

Between 12.01am last Friday (22 January 2021) and 11.59pm last night (Tuesday 26 January 2021), officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command with assistance from Police Area Commands and Police Districts conducted Operation Australia 2021 across NSW.

About 6.50am on Sunday (24 January 2021), police received reports from a motorist that the driver of a Nissan Navara was driving dangerously on the Pacific Highway near Heatherbrae, Port Stephens.

Police have been told the man, aged 44, drove onto a median strip and hit a small tree before pulling over on Six Mile Creek Road, Eagleton, where the motorist – a 46-year-old man, also stopped and took the driver’s keys away.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police Area Command arrived a short time later and breath tested the man, who allegedly returned a positive result.

The man was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned an alleged positive reading of 0.186.

The man was issued a Court Attendance Notice for drive with high range PCA; and is due to appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday 22 February 2021.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty, said it’s encouraging to see motorists concerned for the safety of others by reporting dangerous driving to police.

“As part of our Four Ds campaign, we’ve been urging all road users to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving, when safe to do so,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“In this instance, the actions of the motorist have helped keep the community safe during the Operation Australia Day 2021 period.”

During the operation, motorists faced double demerit points for speeding, mobile phone, motorcycle helmet and seatbelt offences.

Police conducted more than 96,000 breath tests, with more than 300 drivers charged with drink driving.

In addition to the drink-driving charges, 386 people returned positive results for drug-driving. More than 9200 people were fined for other traffic offences, including not wearing a seatbelt and speeding.

“While the poor behaviour of some drivers is disappointing, we’re overall encouraged by the behaviour of the vast majority of drivers over operation,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“Sadly, three people lost their lives on NSW roads over this period. We continue to work hard in improving road safety for all road users across our state,” said Mr Hegarty.

Other incidents of note include:

• A man disqualified from driving until 2078 will reappear in court today after allegedly being caught driving dangerously and possessing drugs in Sydney. About 5.20pm on Saturday (23 January 2021), officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were conducting a stationary random breath and drug test on Pitt Street, Chippendale, when they attempted to stop the driver of a Holden Commodore. Police will allege the driver, a 47-year-old man, swapped seats with his front seat passenger, a 36-year-old woman, causing the car to swerve into oncoming traffic. Officers stopped the car and arrested the pair before searching the vehicle and locating a clear vial believed to contain gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB). Further checks revealed the man was disqualified from driving until 2078. The pair was taken to Surry Hills Police Station. He was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, and possess prohibited drug. He was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Bail Court, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at Central Local Court today (Wednesday 27 January 2021). The woman was fined for not complying with P1/P2 high performance vehicle restriction, driver not wear seatbelt, and not comply with P2 licence conditions not display P-Plates.

• About 7.10am yesterday (Tuesday 26 January 2021), Traffic and Highway Patrol officers were conducting stationary random breath testing on Hogbin Drive, Coffs Harbour, when they stopped a Hyundai and spoke with the driver, a 15-year-old boy. He allegedly returned a positive breath test before being taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned a reading of 0.054. The boy was charged with low-range drink driving, and driving without licence.

• Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were conducting stationary speed enforcement duties on the north on the M1, Yallah, when they detected a Mitsubishi Lancer allegedly travelling about 185km/h in an 80km/h signposted area, about 2.10am on Sunday (24 January 2021). Police attempted to stop the vehicle; however, the driver allegedly failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated. The driver continued towards Picton before road spikes were deployed and the car stopped a short time later on Maldon Bridge Road. The driver, a 34-year-old woman, was arrested and taken to Camden Police Station, where she was charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive at speed, licence expired less than two years before – prior offence, and class exceed speed (more than 45 km/h). She was granted conditional bail to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Thursday 4 February 2021. Inquiries continue.

• At 11.30am yesterday (Tuesday 26 January 2021), officers from St George Police Area Command were called to the intersection of Princes Highway and Baxter Avenue, Kogarah, after reports of a single-vehicle crash. Police have been told a man was driving a Mazda sedan south on the Princes Highway when the car mounted the kerb and crashed into a no stopping/clearway sign. While officers were speaking to the man, they allegedly noticed an opened cask of wine inside a black bag. The man was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returned a positive reading, before being taken to Kogarah Police Station, where a further breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.264. He was charged with drive with high range PCA and his licence was suspended. He was granted conditional bail to appear in Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday 16 February 2021.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.