Police praise Ballarat drivers but warn them to careful over the holiday period

Police have praised the behaviour of the majority of Ballarat’s drivers over Christmas, but have warned about complacency as the holiday period continues towards the weekend and New Year.

While two drink drivers were detected with very high blood alcohol readings several days ago, Christmas Day itself proved trouble-free for police on Ballarat roads.

Ballarat Highway Patrol Sergeant Stuart Gale said Christmas Day was traditionally a quieter day on the roads, but said the next few days were always a worry for emergency services.

“Fatigue is the main one (over the next week),” he said.

“People are often driving long distances to meet up with family and friends, they’re often travelling at irregular times and extended hours.”

“We’re urging people to plan their trips, take regular breaks and of course don’t drink drive.”

Sergeant Gale said police were currently in the midst of Operation Crossroads, a coordinated 12-day crackdown over the Christmas and New Year period targeting all manner of driving offences.

On Sunday, two men were caught drink driving on Ballarat roads within an hour of each other. Police intercepted a 28-year-old Sebastopol man in Bell Street, Redan, at 12.20am Sunday morning.

The man recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.146 and had his license immediately suspended.  He will be charged on summons to appear at the Ballarat Magistrates Court at a later date.

Just 40 minutes later, the same police officer intercepted a second man in Sturt Street in relation to drink driving.

A 23-year-old Queensland man was pulled over and recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.177 – more than three times the legal limit. 

The driver will be charged on summons.

Sergeant Gale said police would continue to be out in force to ensure Ballarat drivers adhered to the road rules.

“We just want people to arrive alive,” he said.

jordan.oliver@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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