Three people have been charged with drug and traffic-related offences during a road safety operation on the state’s South Coast.
Operation Fume is a high-visibility road policing operation targeting alcohol and drug-affected drivers and road-related offences.
Between Thursday 11 November 2021 and yesterday (Monday 15 November 2021), officers attached to South Coast Traffic and Highway Patrol Command conducted proactive patrols between Nowra and Merimbula.
Officers conducted 212 roadside breath tests and 167 roadside drug tests, with 29 returning positive indications to the presence of an illicit substance; the results of which will undergo further analysis.
Further, 35 motorists were issued with infringement notices for traffic-related offences, while three defect notices were also issued.
Of note during the five-day operation:
- About 11.45am Saturday (13 November 2021), a vehicle was stopped along Clyde Street, Batemans Bay. The 46-year-old allegedly returned a positive roadside drug detection. The Batemans Bay man was prohibited from driving for 24 hours. Then, about 12.45pm the same day, he was stopped while driving on North Street, Batemans Bay, before allegedly returning another positive reading to a roadside drug test. His car keys were confiscated for 24 hours and both test results will undergo further analysis.
- About 10.20am on Sunday (14 November 2021), a vehicle was allegedly detected travelling 148km/h in a 100km/h signposted area on the Princes Highway, Brogo. Police stopped the vehicle and located a two-year-old child unrestrained in the car. The driver – a 21-year-old Broadwater man – was fined for exceeding the speed limit by 30km/h and having an unrestrained child.
- About 9.15am yesterday (Monday 15 November 2021), a vehicle was stopped on the Princes Highway, South Nowra, for the purpose of random testing. The 35-year-old female driver allegedly tested positive to a roadside drug test. She was taken to Nowra Police Station for an oral fluid test, which will undergo further analysis. The Nowra woman was prohibited from driving for 24 hours and checks on her license revealed it was suspended until February 2022.
Commander of Traffic and Highway Patrol South, Detective Superintendent Joe Thone, said the number of people caught under the influence of drugs is disappointing.
“Motorists who choose to take drugs and get behind the wheel are not only endangering themselves, but the lives of every other road user,” Det Supt Thone said.
“Our Highway Patrol officers are out in numbers targeting the Four Ds – drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving – so it is highly likely drivers doing the wrong thing will get caught, have their license suspended and be put before the courts.”
Similar operations are expected to continue in the future.