Drug-driving results ‘alarming’

Shannon BochenekManjimup-Bridgetown Times

A busy holiday period saw over 2000 vehicles stopped by Manjimup police between Christmas and the New Year.

Manjimup Police Station officer-in-charge Sgt Harry Arnott commended the “99 per cent” of people who did the right thing on the roads, but said a few stand out incidents were cause for concern.

After Pemberton police charged three men for driving with blood alcohol readings of between 0.09 and 0.19 before Christmas, Sgt Arnott said Manjimup police saw the trend continue when a 50-year-old Manjimup woman blew 0.18 with her teenage daughter in the car on December 23.

“That’s a significant reading – almost four times the legal limit,” he said.

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A 28-year-old man was also charged for driving with a blood alcohol reading exceeding 0.08 at 9.45am on New Year’s Day.

Sgt Arnott said these incidents were a reminder for those planning to drink alcohol they needed to plan not to drive.

With drug testing kits now available to police in the region, Manjimup police saw six drivers test positive for methamphetamine at targeted roadside tests.

“It is alarming because we only tested nine people,” Sgt Arnott said.

While testing was targeted at suspected drug-users, Sgt Arnott said a 66 per cent positive return was “very high.”

“It is alarming that people are using methamphetamine and driving,” he said.

The six people charged will be summonsed to court after their tests are analysed to determine the exact concentration of the drug in their system.

The six included a man who was arrested on Christmas Day after repeatedly driving an unlicensed vehicle with no driver’s licence, testing positive to methamphetamine and possessing drug paraphernalia.

With a spike in road fatalities in the South West over the Christmas period, Sgt Arnott reminded drivers to continue to be diligent.

“Don’t rush,” he said.

“Plan your trip and arrive safely.”

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