Police blitz busts druggies behind the wheel

POLICE caught a "frightening" number of drug drivers at the Cooloola Coast and Gympie in five days to yesterday.

The 14 unlawfully impaired drivers included only three drink drivers, from more than 516 tests.

A much smaller number of drug saliva tests showed cannabis, amphetamine or both in the other 11.

Nine of these were detected around the Cooloola Coast after Random Drug Testing Unit police swooped on the area on Thursday.

Police said the results would undoubtedly prompt the drug testers to come back for more.

Tin Can Bay officer in charge Darren Grieve said the number of detected drug drivers was frightening for sober drivers sharing the roads.

He hoped the attention of police would also be frightening for "people who think they can smoke dope and drive their cars".

He said their chances of being caught had gone up substantially after the weekend haul of offenders.

"The random drug testing blokes justified their visit and you can bet they'll come back for more fishing trips," he said.

"When you're getting that many fish, you tend to go back."

Drug testing police hit the region over five days and detected 11 drivers with cannabis or methamphetamine or both in their systems.

The Brisbane-based specialist officers were here as part of Operation Mike Invent, a police enforcement response to the crash and death toll on our roads.

Gympie District Inspector Jon Lewis said 516 vehicle interceptions during a Saturday night Bruce Hwy blockade at Six Mile had only one drink driver, with a low reading of 0.062%, one unlicensed driver, one charge of cannabis possession, one unregistered and uninsured vehicle, two defective vehicles and two people speeding, despite appalling weather conditions.

Police worked "until they could no longer feel their fingers", Insp Lewis said yesterday.

Sgt Grieve said the drug testing operation caught two drug drivers in the highway blockade, plus "one on Thursday at Tin Can Bay, four at Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove on Friday, one on Sunday at Cooloola Cove and two yesterday morning at Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove".

"You can't be sure when they're going to be in your area. It's not just a Brisbane thing," he said.

The coastal operation also netted one high reading drink driver at 0.15%.

Maryborough-based police also caught a woman at Curra on Friday night with a blood alcohol reading of 0.137%.

Gympie Times

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