Three drivers tried to evade police overnight during Operation Nabbed, and in each incident, a pursuit was initiated and road spikes deployed.
Police say a man has been ‘nabbed’ after allegedly testing positive for drugs, before fleeing in a stolen vehicle, near Brunswick Heads last night.
At about 11pm on Saturday, a Holden Commodore was stopped for a random breath and drug test on Kirkwood Road, Tweed Heads South. It was subsequently established that the vehicle had been reported stolen from a residential property in Queensland on Friday, 13 March.
The driver was subjected to a breath test, which returned negative, and a drug test, before police noticed the man’s licence was suspended. The driver allegedly accelerated from the scene and a pursuit was initiated.
Road spikes were deployed at the on-ramp to the Pacific Motorway at Brunswick Heads, with the vehicle coming to a stop a short time later.
Police will allege the driver attempted to flee the scene on foot but was arrested and taken to Byron Bay Hospital for mandatory testing.
Upon release, the 23-year-old Queensland man was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously, class A motor vehicle exceed speed over 45km/h, drive while licence suspended, receive property stolen outside NSW, use unregistered motor vehicle, use uninsured motor vehicle, drive vehicle under influence of drugs, and drive conveyance without consent of owner.
The man was refused bail to appear before Tweed Heads Local Court tomorrow (Monday 16 March).
Police say that at about 1.15am today, a vehicle stopped short of a random breath test site and completed a U-turn on the M1 Motorway at Tweed Heads. A pursuit was commenced, and road spikes were successfully deployed.
The driver, a 44-year-old man, was arrested and taken for mandatory testing, before being taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with police pursuit, driver manner dangerous, exceed speed over 45 km/h and drive vehicle under influence of drug. The vehicle was impounded for three months.
He was granted conditional bail to appear before Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday, 6 April, 2020.
The passenger in the vehicle, a 38-year-old man, was also arrested and charged with outstanding domestic violence offences.
Police also say that at about 2.45am today, police on the M1 Motorway near Sleepy Hollow attempted to stop a Holden Commodore for a random breath test. The vehicle was identified as reported stolen from Queensland, and a pursuit was initiated after it allegedly failed to stop.
Police successfully deployed road spikes and the vehicle eventually stopped.
The 17-year-old male driver was arrested along with 3 passengers – two aged 16 and one aged 13.
The driver underwent mandatory testing before being taken to Byron Bay Police Station and charged with police pursuit – drive manner dangerous, negligent driving, learner unaccompanied driver, not display L plates and possess property stolen outside of state.
He was refused bail to appear before a Children’s Court today (Sunday 15 March).
The three passengers were dealt with under the Young Offenders Act.
Operation Nabbed North
Operation Nabbed North is a high-visibility traffic operation targeting impaired drivers, which ran between 7pm and 3.30am on both Friday (13 March) and Saturday (14 March) nights.
Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol and General Duties attached to the Northern Region, including Tweed/Byron and Richmond Police Districts, with assistance from Sydney Metropolitan police, conducted random and stationary breath and drug tests on the M1 Motorway between Tweed Heads and Ballina. Queensland Police also supported the operation in border areas.
Police conducted more than 9600 breath tests during the two-day operation with a total of 60 drivers being charged for the offence of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Regional Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Superintendent Paul Glinn, said it is disappointing to see drivers continuing to put themselves, and other road users, at risk by driving impaired.
‘The message is simple – if you are affected by drugs or alcohol, you should not be in control of a vehicle,’ said Supt Glinn.
‘Drivers should remember that police can be anywhere at any time and you will get caught if you break the law. This applies not only to Traffic and Highway Patrol officers, but all members of NSW Police who see road safety as a serious issue.
‘Operations like this will continue in future across NSW, we want to see drivers make better choices and a positive change in the behaviour of road users, particularly in Northern NSW. This operation has demonstrated that such changes are required by the totality of the offences detected over the past two days’.
Northern Region Highway Patrol Traffic Tactician, Inspector Peter McMenamin, said this operation has seen police not only interact with impaired drivers, but also those involved in other serious crimes.
‘Just like all police, officers involved in this operation continue to protect the community, by preventing and disrupting crime.’
In addition to the drink-driving charges, 19 people returned positive results for drug-driving.
Key statistics for Operation Nabbed North
Breath tests conducted – 9639
PCA charges – 60
Positive drug tests – 19
Traffic infringements – 364