16 July 2023

Police catch three intoxicated drivers in Civic in the space of two hours

| James Coleman
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Police have responded to the spate of drink-driving with a message to obey the legal limits. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

Police stopped three intoxicated drivers in four separate incidents in little more than two hours early on Saturday morning, 15 July.

About 2 am, members of ACT Policing’s Territory Targeting Team were called to Verity Lane in Civic, where a vehicle had struck an electrical junction box.

The driver, a 33-year-old Florey man, provided a breath sample of 0.162 (more than three times the legal limit) and was taken into custody. His licence was immediately suspended for 90 days.

The same man was then stopped an hour later, driving on Northbourne Avenue only 15 minutes after being released from police custody.

He was again taken into custody and provided another breath sample, of 0.156 (still more than three times the legal limit).

He faced the ACT Magistrates Court yesterday, charged with drink-driving and driving while suspended.

About the same time as the second arrest (2:20 am), another team of officers patrolling in Dickson observed a grey sedan swerving in and out of lanes and braking abruptly.

Police stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver, a 25-year-old Belconnen man, who was incoherent, to the point of being unable to remember his own name.

Officers arrested and charged the man with driving under the influence and failing to provide a blood sample.

About 4:15 am, while conducting routine patrols in Civic, police stopped a white station wagon. The driver, a 30-year-old Curtin woman, failed a roadside breath test and was transported to the ACT Watch House where she produced a breath sample of 0.190 (nearly four times the legal limit) and was issued a court attendance notice for high-range drink-driving.

ACT Policing Duty Superintendent Hall O’Meagher reminded the community to obey the legal drinking limits when driving.

“None of these drivers have made a small error of judgment, they all made the decision to put lives at risk by getting behind the wheel while – frankly – very intoxicated,” Superintendent O’Meagher said.

“It is hard to believe that anyone caught drink-driving, who is taken to the watch house and has their licence suspended, would then, not 30 minutes later, get back behind the wheel of a car.

“The blatant disrespect for our community on the road is alarming.”

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Only three? They’re not trying very hard.

Agreed, if they set up on the roads in and out of the city and also around areas such as Kingston and Manuka on a Friday and Saturday night, they would need more police vans just to cart them all off to the station.

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