A TAXI driver was caught drink-driving with a passenger in his vehicle in Echuca on Saturday night as police worked hard to ensure a safe weekend for road users.
As part of the Echuca police’s well-advertised road safety blitz over the Southern 80 weekend, the cab driver was caught on the corner of Campaspe Esp and Warren St.
The man, who had a paying passenger in the taxi at the time, will face court rather than a hefty fine. A date is yet to be set.
Local area commander of Campaspe Police Service Area Geoff Owen said commercial drivers must have no alcohol in their system when driving, but declined to say what the man’s reading was.
‘‘I’m not going to give that out,’’ he said.
‘‘As a commercial driver they have to have a double zero (blood-alcohol) reading, and a reading was obtained that was in excess of that.’’
Echuca police were out in force over the Southern 80 weekend, carrying out ‘‘approximately 2500’’ random breath tests across this side of the Murray River.
Insp Owen said overall he was pleased with how the long weekend went, even if there were a few incidents.
‘‘There was very little anti-social behaviour around the town. We had a minor assault and one drunk locked up,’’ he said.
‘‘Also on Friday night, a police vehicle’s tyre was slashed in the McDonald’s car park. Inquiries are continuing with that.’’
Insp Owen said a police vehicle’s tyre had also been let down as the officers were ‘‘engaging with public campers on the Murray River’’.
The officers had left the vehicle unattended to speak to the campers and returned to see a man had ‘‘decided to let the tyre down’’.
‘‘So he will appear in court at a later date,’’ Insp Owen said.
A big message of Echuca police’s long weekend message was to ensure alcohol was not opened on the streets.
‘‘There were a lot of social media messages over that from us, and we weren’t actually needed to extend fines for that, but we did give out a few warnings,’’ Insp Owen said.
‘‘We had road policing activities. We were policing anti-social behaviour and we had a strong visible enforcement as well as education activities on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Southern 80.’’
Insp Owen said the Southern 80 was another successful event with no major problems.
‘‘The crowd was overall very well behaved. There was a big crowd but we had support in terms of resources from Melbourne and within the division, including booze buses, state highway patrols, operational response units, public order response teams and local response teams,’’ he said.
In a separate incident not related to the Southern 80, a woman died following a single vehicle crash on private property on Bail Rd in Torrumbarry on Saturday.
It is understood the woman was thrown under a vehicle after it ran into a ditch but the exact details have not been confirmed.
Emergency services attended but the woman died at the scene. She is yet to be formally identified.
The male driver of the vehicle is assisting police with their enquiries.
Police will prepare a report for the coroner.