Police launch blitz to catch drinking, drug-affected drivers

WITH the festive season fast approaching, police are launching an all-out assault to catch drinking and drug-affected drivers.

Operation RAID (Remove All Impaired Drivers) gets under way today, and police will swarm the roads of Ballarat.

The first of four operations to be run over the Christmas/ New Year period, Operation RAID will be in place until December 9.

It started at 12.01am today and will involve all members of the Ballarat Highway Patrol, as well as uniformed members.

Ballarat Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Pat Cleary said police would be using every method to catch those who were driving illegally.

“The public can expect to be pulled over and drug-tested by booze buses no matter where they are,” he said.

“We will be on the back roads, stationing ourselves outside licensed venues, doing everything we can to ensure these people are off the road.”

In what is typically the busiest time of the year for people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Senior Sergeant Cleary said people had to know that there would be a heavy police presence on the roads.

“We will be out there putting straws in mouths so people need to know we will be out there,” he said.

“The period we’re leading into is known for high rates of road trauma. Nearly every day we’re catching someone for drink-driving – the message is if you drink and drive or take drugs and drive, it’s highly likely you will be caught.”

Twenty-six drink-drivers were caught during the same three-week operation in Ballarat last year, with more than 1400 caught across Victoria.

patrick.nolan@thecourier.com.au

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