POLICE have sworn to continue their strong blitzes on Ballarat’s streets following a successful operation that led to 14 arrests at the weekend.
Operation Unite, an Australian and New Zealand crackdown on drunken and anti-social behaviour, ran on Friday and Saturday night throughout Ballarat.
It yielded promising results, according to Ballarat police Acting Senior Sergeant Peter Carey, but also showed a high number of people were refusing to heed the safety message.
Ten drink drivers were caught from more than 1700 preliminary breath tests, including one man who was caught at 1pm on Wendouree Parade on Saturday, having blown over the limit after drinking on Friday night.
However, on a positive note for police, just one assault was reported across both nights.
The operation ran from 6pm on Friday to 6am on Saturday, then 6pm on Saturday to 6am yesterday.
“It was all hands on deck on both nights and the general behaviour from most people was pretty good,” Acting Senior Sergeant Carey said.
“Considering there was only one reported assault for the entire weekend, we’ve had an obvious impact by making ourselves so visible on the street.”
Of the 14 arrests over the weekend, six were for drunkenness, while three were liquor licensing breaches.
Police also made 81 separate walk-throughs of pubs and clubs and issued 77 penalty notices and 43 other offences during the operation.
Not all offences were related to drunkenness or anti-social behaviour.
“It was disappointing to record another 10 drink drivers,” Acting Senior Sergeant Carey said.
“There is very much a danger the next morning after drinking and people don’t seem to understand that.
“There’s so many variables and no two people are the same, so the best thing to do is not risk it if there is any doubt.”
In total, 76 people were arrested in Victoria as part of Operation Unite.
Police dealt with five assaults across Victoria, issued 460 penalty notices and nabbed 21 drink drivers.
The focus for police will now turn to Operation Tradie, with a number of trades people due to finish work for the year on Friday, in what is a traditionally busy night on Ballarat’s streets.