REVEALED: Police find 50 per cent of motorists had drugs in system
IN A 30 day period, nearly 50 per cent of motorists who were drug tested by Dalby police returned a positive reading for having illegal substances in their system – a “bittersweet” result for local cops.
Dalby Road Policing Unit conducted Operation Reditus in June, a blitz aimed at locating and charging people driving under the influence of dangerous drugs, namely methylamphetamine, marijuana, and MDMA.
Dalby RPU senior constable Justin Drier said static RBT and drug testing sites were shut down amid COVID-19 lockdowns to limit the exposure of the virus to local cops.
Operation Reditus came in response to COVID restrictions being lifted, and an influx of drivers hitting the road as borders began to reopen.
“We were receiving information intelligence from officers from Dalby station that a lot of people in the Dalby area were potentially drug driving,” he said.
“In response to us being given the green light to return to normal operations we decided to do a month-long operation targeting drunk drivers.”
Snr const Drier said the results of the operation were “bittersweet”.
The alarming results meant dozens of drug drivers were taken off the roads and sent a clear message to those planning on getting behind the wheel after taking illicit substances.
“Over that month Dalby RPU officers conducted 90 roadside drug test and came back with 40 drug driving offences,” he said.
“When we sit down and get figures for operations people say it’s a success because we got so many figures but for us it’s bittersweet.
“There are a lot of people out there doing the wrong thing.”
In the 10 years since snr cons Drier began working in the Western Downs, he has watched the drug driving trend change, and he hoped it’s continuing to move in a positive direction.
This could have something to do with increased presence on the roads by the region’s police force.
“Over the last 18 months, in the Dalby-Burnett region, I really think we’ve improved,” he said.
“They’re either getting the idea that we’re out and about, so slow down, or everyone is starting to wake up to themselves.”
75 per cent of detections were in the Dalby area with the remainder in the Burnett region, and those 40 individuals have been issued notices to appear in court on drug driving charges.