For the past month South Australia police has put an increased emphasis on drug and alcohol testing, as part of its Operation High Impact F5 operation.
Operation High Impact F5 got underway on 9 August and is due to finish today (5 September). The operation’s aim is to target people committing offences against the Fatal Five issues on SA’s roads, which include drink or drug driving, speeding, distraction offences, seatbelts and dangerous road users. The main aim is to stop people being killed on South Australia’s roads through poor choices.
With drug and alcohol testing on South Australia’s roads having an even greater emphasis, in the first 24 hours of the program over 4000 roadside alcohol tests were conducted, as well as 90 drug tests. This resulted in 29 people exceeding the blood alcohol limit and seven recording positive drug testing results.
The main reason for the increased emphasis on drug and alcohol testing in South Australia and the introduction of Operation High Impact F5 has been the poor road trauma figures. Up until early August, 73 people have been killed on South Australia’s roads in 2019; this compares to 43 at the same time last year.
SAPOL Commissioner Grant Stevens says its vital that drivers and road users change their behaviours.
“With 73 people killed so far on our roads this year – that is 30 more people who have been killed on our roads compared to 43 at the same time last year. That is an additional 30 families who are suffering as a result of these deaths. That is 30 more incidents that emergency responders have had to attend and advise families of these deaths. This is simply unacceptable.”
Commissioner Stevens said at the operation’s launch that it would include large scale random alcohol testing, random roadside drug testing and other highly visible policing enforcement initiatives.
“Put bluntly – not wearing a seat belt – KILLS; speeding – KILLS; distraction – like using a mobile telephone whilst driving – KILLS; choosing to drink or drug drive – KILLS; and driving dangerously or like an idiot – KILLS.
The key messages that South Australia police are providing road users around drug and alcohol testing are:
- Don’t drink and drug drive. Make sure you plan ahead and consider:
- Nominating a designated driver
- Organising someone to transport you to and from the venue
- Catching public transport
- Catching a taxi or consider ride sharing
- Staying the night
Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace a vital tool too
It’s clear that people in South Australia are prepared to drink and take drugs and then drive. The figures for the small sample from the first day of Operation High Impact F5 alone were .725% of people alcohol tested over the blood alcohol limit and nearly 8% of people drug tested providing a positive result.
Do you think these same people would make smarter choices and be more responsible in the workplace? Of course not, which is why drug and alcohol testing in South Australia’s workplaces is a vital tool.
Roadside drug and alcohol testing in South Australia has been even more prominent in recent weeks, due to Operation High Impact F5. Credit Michael Coghlan https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/36993809142/