Operation reveals ‘blatant disregard for life’

A 68-YEAR-old Stratford woman was among more than 250 Victoria drivers who tested positive for alcohol during a state-wide long weekend police blitz.

The woman allegedly blew .099 when she was pulled over for a random breath test in Stratford about 7.45pm Friday as part of Operation Arid which took place during the Labour Day long weekend.

Her licence was immediately cancelled and she has been disqualified from driving for six months.

Stratford police also intercepted unlicensed drivers and motorists driving unregistered vehicles during the operation, however noted there were no accidents reported in their area during the long weekend.

A 19-year-old Melbourne man will be charged on summons for possessing drugs of dependence after police allegedly found cannabis and ecstasy in his vehicle during Operation Arid.

Sale police intercepted the vehicle on the Sale-Maffra Rd near Myrtlebank about 4pm on Monday.

A 23-year-old local man received a penalty notice for drink driving after police intercepted his vehicle in Heyfield late Saturday night.

Wellington Highway Patrol officer in charge Sergeant Luke Banwell said the traffic travelling through the local area during the long weekend was heavy, but most motorists were driving safely.

However state-wide, the results of Operation Arid, which ran from Friday to Monday, have been described by police as concerning.

In Victoria, nearly 200 drivers tested positive for drugs (a ratio of one in nine for those tested) and more than 250 drivers tested positive to alcohol (one in 478). 

There were also 155 disqualified or suspended drivers detected, 325 unlicensed drivers, 778 unregistered vehicles, 2626 speeding offences, 270 mobile phone offences, 297 disobey signals or signs offences, 58 vehicles impounds and 226 seatbelt offences. 

A total 6477 traffic offences and 907 criminal offences were detected during the weekend.

Superintendent Deb Robertson said the figures were alarming. 

“It is so frustrating to witness such blatant disregard for life,” she said. 

“We’ve called for people to come together and play their role in keeping all lives on our roads safe and while a lot of people have responded, there is a dangerous minority who continue to defy this. 

“With the Easter long weekend approaching, we hope our message reaches the people it truly needs to.”