Wollongong man charged for drink driving 

A Wollongong P-plater was allegedly caught driving nearly four times over the legal alcohol limit on Saturday night, flouting police advice to take it easy on the roads over the Easter long weekend.
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Police claim the 41-year-old West Wollongong man blew a whopping 0.223 reading after he was stopped for a roadside breath test in Wollongong just before midnight.

He then allegedly refused to undergo another breath test at Wollongong police station and was subsequently charged.

The 41-year-old’s alleged antics were just one example of what police described as “mindless acts of stupidity” on the state’s roads over the weekend.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Superintendent Dave Evans said there was still a large number of motorists caught taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel.

“[They are] endangering not only themselves but other road users,” he said.

In the region’s far south, a 37-year-old man was allegedly nabbed driving almost five times over the legal limit at Falls Creek on Saturday night.

The Sydney man immediately had his licence suspended and was charged to appear in Nowra Local Court.

Last night, the state’s holiday road toll remained at two, including the death of a man, 74, at Coledale last Thursday. In a tragic start to the long weekend, emergency crews rushed to Lawrence Hargrave Drive after the man was struck while crossing the road.

He was taken to Wollongong Hospital but died several hours later.

Despite the incidents, police praised drivers for their generally good behaviour on the road.

This year, during Operation Tortoise, the force’s annual Easter traffic blitz, the number of motorists caught speeding and drink-driving was already down on last year.

Police have also issued fewer infringement notices for other traffic offences.

However, Superintendent Evans still urged motorists to remain vigilant on the roads.

“Marked and unmarked police cars will maintain a highly visible presence on the [roads],” he said.

“There will be nowhere to hide. If you break the law, you will be caught.”

Extra police would continue to patrol the region’s streets until midnight tonight.

Meantime, police performed the two millionth random breath test yesterday since the launch of the force’s Operation Paciullo in November last year.

The operation formed part of the 30th anniversary of random breath tests in NSW and resulted in more than 8000 people being charged with drink-driving.

OPERATION TORTOISE:

Still one day to go

150,547 roadside breath tests completed.

93 people charged with drink-driving offences.

3487 people caught speeding.

4998 other infringement notices issued.

39 people injured in 108 crashes.

Two people killed on the state’s roads.

Examples of irresponsible driving behaviour include:

■ A 30-year-old Central Coast man allegedly caught towing a trailer full of firewood with his two young children, aged three and six, sitting on top of the load. His heavily pregnant wife was allegedly sitting on the trailer’s wheel arch when police stopped them.

■ A 41-year-old Sydney P-plater allegedly nabbed driving in Ultimo with her four children, aged between two and 14, all unrestrained in the car.

■ A 14-year-old girl allegedly detected driving a car in Queanbeyan. She then allegedly blew a 0.085 blood-alcohol reading.

■ A 27-year-old Queensland man allegedly caught taking a forklift on a drunken joyride at the Sydney Showground. Police claim the man took the forklift for a spin near Sydney Olympic Park, currently home to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The man later allegedly blew a 0.170 reading – more than three times the legal alcohol limit.

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