As we head into warmer weather, the Police in NSW has reminded people that it’s not just on land that indiscriminate use of drugs and alcohol is an issue.
NSW Police will begin random drug and alcohol testing as part of a new marine safety program. As well as drug and alcohol testing, the program will include a general crackdown on dangerous or anti-social activity on the water.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said that in the last financial year, there were 3 fatalities and 9 serious accidents on NSW waterways.
“We continue to see preventable boating incidents and dangerous jet-ski riding in certain hot spots so you can expect to see more police on our waterways over the summer boating season,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“Some of the worst marine fatalities have involved drugs and alcohol so having the capability to drug test on the water is another measure to reduce the risk of incidents on our waterways. Driving any vessel under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs puts you at greater risk of injuring or killing yourself, your friends and other innocent people,” Commissioner Fuller said.
NSW Minister for Police, Troy Grant, welcomed the Maritime Enhanced Enforcement Program at a recent launch.
“We urge road users to not drink and consume drugs before getting behind the wheel, and today is a reminder for all boat users that the same rules apply to them. When you drink or do drugs on our waterways, you aren’t just risking your own life, but the lives of other innocent water enthusiasts,” Mr Grant said.
Waterways workplaces too
It’s important to remember, also, that our waterways are not just a place for fun and lifestyle activities. Many people earn their livelihood on and around the water, including professional fisherman and divers, ship workers, marine biologists and lifeguards. Professions that for the most part are safety critical in nature.
If you manage or own a business that involves your employees working on or around the water, help prevent potential incidents involving drugs and alcohol by implementing a drug and alcohol management plan and regularly conducting drug and alcohol testing.
For more details on how Integrity Sampling can help you do both, see our website or phone us on 1300 SALIVA.