NSW Police have reintroduced stationary breath and drug testing and are warning drivers that officers will be out in force over the long weekend as holiday-goers prepare to take advantage of eased COVID-19 restrictions.
Restrictions were loosened in NSW on 1 June, allowing pubs and clubs to serve up to 50 patrons. Restrictions on regional travel for recreational purposes were also removed.
“Police [are] continuing to target dangerous driver behaviour, including speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving tired, seatbelt and helmet compliance, and mobile phone and driver distraction,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.
ACT Policing didn’t stop static roadside testing but provided advice to officers about how to maximise hygiene controls during roadside drug and alcohol testing.
“In the past few years, rather than a large-scale static approach to roadside testing, every ACT Policing member conducts random breath testing and we work hard to ensure we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time,” an ACT Policing spokesperson said.
NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, has implored motorists to be responsible during the first long weekend since restrictions have been eased.
“We have had bushfires, flooding and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic so we understand that people are keen to travel regionally to stimulate the local economy, particularly over the long weekend,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
“However, there is no excuse to get behind the wheel and flagrantly flout the law. The road rules have not changed, and we make no apologies for stopping selfish road users whose irresponsible driving put themselves and others at risk.
“The message is clear: if your driving puts you or others at risk, you will be stopped, and you will face the consequences of your actions.”
NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said stationary mobile drug and alcohol testing units have been reintroduced as a proactive measure to stop people from acting recklessly amid loosened restrictions.
“With the easing of restrictions on travel and going out to support restaurants and pubs ahead of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, the community is understandably itching to return to some form of normalcy,” Mr Elliott said.
“Irresponsible or reckless behaviour that endangers others will not be tolerated – there’s no excuse for not abiding by the road rules.
“The community has already been through enough already – we have had enough trauma.”