Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Police pleased at small number of drink drivers after ball

Only six drink drivers and on drug driver were charged after almost 600 people were tested the morning after the Elmore B and S.

ELAINE COONEY March 19, 2014 4:05am

District police were impressed by the behaviour of Elmore B and S patrons despite catching six drink drivers and one drug driver.

Sergeant Greg Watkins of Campaspe Highway Patrol was in charge of the booze bus at the Elmore Events Centre exit gate on March 9.

He conducted 598 preliminary breath tests and 15 drug tests between 7am and 12.30pm.

Of the six people found to be over the legal limit, the highest alcohol reading was .089 and one driver tested positive for amphetamines.

Sgt Watkins said most drivers were tested leaving the festival.

He was pleased so few party goers were over the legal blood alcohol limit.

The number of drivers who blew over .05 (or .00 for L or P-platers) was slightly higher than usual random breath testing operations where one in 117 were over the limit.

Police breath tested 750 people in Elmore on the Saturday with only one positive reading.

Sgt Watkins put the result down to safety-conscious event organisers.

B and S secretary Sam Shotton said the organisers put many safety measures in place for patrons.

‘‘We want them to travel the road and return home safely,’’ she said.

She said the committee went above and beyond the security and safety measures the liquor licence required.

The committee hired extra security guards for the weekend and had a voluntary booze bus set up so party goers could unofficially check if they were fit to drive.

Ms Shotton and her fellow volunteers drove patrons car’s to Elmore on Sunday so the designated drivers could eat lunch and rehydrate before starting the journey home.

‘‘People can stay as long as they want on the Sunday. We don’t kick them out,’’ she said.

Ms Shotton said she advised some patrons to sit under a tree for a few hours and ensured those left behind at the Elmore Events Centre on Sunday had plenty of water.

She said some attendees left their car at the centre and picked it up on Monday.

Ms Shotton said the ball received positive feedback on Facebook.

She was looking forward to working out how much money would be returned to the community after deducting costs.

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