21 May 2020 5:47pm
After a temporary hiatus, South Australia Police will resume static and block Random Breath Testing (RBT) which will recommence with a major drink and drug driving operation.
As announced by Commissioner of Police Grant Stevens, all static and block RBT operations will begin across the state from tomorrow, Friday 22 May.
Static and block RBT operations were temporarily suspended back in March as a safety precaution for COVID-19. Mobile RBT operations were consistently conducted during that period.
Comprehensive consultation with SA Health and an endorsement from the Chief Public Health Officer has led to the decision that it is safe to resume the testing.
South Australia Police will continue to take into account the health risks of officers and the community by maintaining their commitment to using personal protective equipment. A rigorous cleaning regime of testing apparatus will also carry on.
The announcement comes just before the launch of Operation Stop Drink Drug Driving, a one-day traffic operation aimed at keeping drink and drug drivers off our roads.
Drink and drug driving is a leading contributor of serious injuries and lives lost in motor vehicle collisions. In 2019 there were 13 lives lost in crashes where drink and/or drug driving were a contributing factor. In 2020 there have been three lives lost where this was a contributing factor.
The last time the operation ran was earlier this week on Monday 18 May when police targeted school zones during peak drop off and pick up times.
A total of 114 drug tests were conducted which resulted in eleven positive results, including a 40-year-old man from Ottoway who had children in his car when he tested positive for methylamphetamine.
Police also conducted 853 alcotests and found three drink drivers, including a 39-year-old woman from Port Pirie South who had children in her car when she returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.130.
Additionally, five vehicles were impounded and two drivers were issued with an immediate loss of licence.
Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott hopes Operation Stop Drink Drug Driving, combined with the resumption of static and block RBT operations, will encourage motorists to remain vigilant and responsible.
“If people have mistakenly used recent events as an excuse to become complacent behind the wheel, then it’s time to re-evaluate your decisions,” he said.
“Police have been out there on a 24/7 basis throughout the entire duration of this global pandemic. Despite the circumstances, we still caught numerous drivers doing the wrong thing and we still took them off our roads.
“Although we’ve never stopped conducting mobile RBT operations, the resumption of static and block RBT operations means we’ll be able to test even more drivers who have potentially made poor decisions.
“Drink and/or drug driving is an incredibly selfish and irresponsible thing to do. Times have been tough lately, so don’t make things any tougher by making the wrong choice.”
Operation Stop Drink Drug Driving will run from 12:01am Friday 22 May and will end at 11:59pm on Friday 22 May.