• Drug, drink drivers nabbed


    WANGARATTA police have so far detected 35 people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol this festive season.

    The statewide Operation Roadwise kicked off on December 15 and will continue until 11.59pm this Sunday.

    “We’ve tested 6500 drivers to date,” Acting Sergeant Patrick Murray of Wangaratta Highway Patrol told the Wangaratta Chronicle.

    “Of those, we found 35 people who tested positive to alcohol or illicit drugs.”

    Act Sgt Murray said every police unit was operating as a dedicated drug and alcohol-testing unit during the operation.

    “We’re still out there testing morning, noon and night,” he warned.

    “You’ve got to be vigilant, especially after a night out.

    “Illicit drugs can stay in your system days after consumption.”

    In the broader North East policing division, 61 drug and drink drivers had been caught out of nearly 1300 preliminary drug and alcohol tests.

    “It’s extremely disappointing,” Senior Sergeant Darren Wittingslow of Wangaratta police told the Wangaratta Chronicle.

    “People are aware it’s a very risky time during Operation Roadwise, but for whatever reason they’ve chosen to run the gauntlet and they’ve been caught.”

    While Sen Sgt Wittingslow said he was frustrated by the behaviour of some road users, he also said it was important to view these figures in context of the holiday season given the increase in tourists visiting the North East.

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