Last month police in Southern Australia participated in the month long Operation Safe October blitz. They discovered an astonishing number of increased drugged drivers, and believe this might result in more accidents during this years’ holiday season.
During the blitz, police had more than 4300 traffic offensives. They performed 2394 drug tests, in which 72 came back positive. They also conducted 30,403 breath tests in which 292 were found to be drunk driving.
Andrew Thiele who is the in Charge Inspector for the Traffic Support Branch Officers said the percentage of people driving under the influence of drugs is disturbing. “Police are extremely fearful as the Christmas season approaches, people will make poor choices after celebrating and drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” he stated.
During the months of July and September they also discovered a huge increase in drugged driving, producing 575 positive drug tests. During the same period in 2010 they had 398 positive drug test results.
According to The Advertiser the amount of drivers under the influence of methamphetamine doubled, from 122 to 274.
Although on the other hand, positive drug tests for marijuana dropped from 157 last year to 125.
Officer Thiele also stated that the number of drugged drivers was higher than drunk drivers due to the drug tests being more targeted and also an increase in police training.
Other citations during the October blitz included 3208 speeding tickets, 492 distractive driving offensives and 258 seat-belt enforcements.
Officer Thiele stated that “despite the improvement in serious injuries and road fatalities this October compared with last year, we have grave concerns the road safety message is still going unheeded and this will continue to cost lives. People who choose to drink or take drugs and drive should understand there are consequences to their decisions that may either end their life or change their life forever.”