Drug drivers on collision course
ALARMING numbers of drug drivers were caught behind the wheel during the Emerald Road Policing Unit's Operation Oscar Cuebid from Monday, February 8 to Sunday across the district.
Of the 41 drug tests conducted during the week-long operation, 14 returned a positive reading for a relevant drug in their saliva - which could include cannabis and methylamphetamines such as ice, speed and ecstasy.
ERU officer-in-charge Sergeant Brad Weeks said some drivers seemed to disregard the danger they posed to themselves and the public, with two repeat offenders caught back on the road.
Sgt Weeks said, on top of being caught by police and facing court, drivers should be aware of the safety and civil liability connected to driving with a relevant substance in their system.
He said, in the event of an accident, any injuries, medical bills and damage to cars, guard rails and road repairs became the driver's responsibility if they returned a positive reading.
"It's the same with driving unlicensed, drink and drug driving or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle," Sgt Weeks said.
Fellow officer Constable Matthew Walters said, while there was no clear demographic of drug drivers, officers had identified trends in where and when offenders were driving during the operation.
Const Walters said with Queensland Police Service noticing a higher prevalence of drug drivers, local road users could expect to be drug and alcohol tested in a random intercept more often.
Road users charged with driving a motor vehicle while a relevant drug was present in their saliva are immediately suspended from driving for 24 hours, while repeat offenders are suspended until they face court.
Sgt Weeks said a lot of drivers were "caught out", not realising that certain drugs could take days, and in some cases weeks, to leave their system.
"Just because you feel okay to drive, doesn't mean the drugs have left your system," Sgt Weeks said.
"Even a little bit in your system can reduce your effective ability to operate a motor vehicle."
Operation Oscar Cuebid
- Two drivers returned positive blood-alcohol results from the 98 random breath tests conducted.
- Drivers were also charged with a range of other offences from driving unlicensed to the possession, supply and production of drugs.
- 22 infringement notices were issued, 20 arrests made and 25 charges.
- Four search warrants were executed as a result of information gathered.