Long weekend drinking shocks police

POLICE BEAT: NT Police made sure their presence was known at events across the Top End over the long weekend.
POLICE BEAT: NT Police made sure their presence was known at events across the Top End over the long weekend.

Northern Territory Police were out in full force over the long weekend.

Attending various events across the Top End to ensure Territorians were behaving, police said they were very disappointed with some of the behaviour. 

On Saturday night, police tackled the Parramatta Eels vs Cowboys NRL game and Summer Sessions music festival.

While police said fans were well behaved at the NRL game, they cannot say the same for some of the partyers at Summer Sessions.

Eight alcohol fueled arrests were made at the musical festival for disorderly behaviour and three people were taken into protective custody.

Police also received a report of an assault on the night.

Further to the apprehensions, one person was issued with a notice to appear for drug possession.

“Police were very disappointed with the behaviour of a number of patrons during and after the event. The behaviour of intoxicated and disorderly people made it difficult for police to manage the event safely,” superintendent Craig Laidler said.

Between midnight and 4:00am, a further 40 people were arrested and 31 people were taken into protective custody on Mitchell Street.

Outside Darwin, officers from Adelaide River, Batchelor, and Darwin Traffic Operations conducted operations along Litchfield Park Road due to the expected influx of visitors.

A 20-year-old male was allegedly detected travelling at 198 kilometres an hour on the Stuart Highway in Humpty Doo on Sunday.

Following that, two males, aged 32 and 33, were apprehended for drink driving two hours apart in the same vehicle by the same police officer.

The results from the traffic operation were:

  • 404 breath tests conducted
  • In excess of 850 vehicle speed checks conducted
  • 2 arrests for low range and medium range drink driving
  • 1 notice to appear issued
  • 4 infringement notices issued
  • 7 cautions issued
  • 83 offences detected with traffic infringement notices to be issued

In addition to the traffic operation, police conducted various high visibility foot and vehicle patrols of water ways, camping grounds and tourist visitor centres.

Despite the heightened police presence, sergeant Benjamin Higgins of Batchelor Police said it was shocking to see how many people were speeding.

“Police will continue to target poor driving behaviour in rural and remote areas. We will continue to focus on traffic enforcement targeting those who continually put others’ lives at risk on our roads,” he said.

Alice Springs Police were also very visible in an attempt to curb bad behaviour by revellers across the long weekend.

Alice Springs Police maintained a visible presence across town, at the Finke Desert Race Start and Finish line and the Aboriginal Community of Finke.

Superintendent Jody Nobbs said Police had an enormous weekend conducting RBTs and patrols across large areas in and around Finke.

“Alice Springs Police have effectively kept coverage across an area of 300km where we conducted five RBT stations and more than 2000 breath tests,” said superintendant Nobbs.

“One person was caught high-range drink driving (0.215%) and two people returned medium-range blood alcohol readings and two returned low-range blood alcohol readings, which is disappointing as the message remains the same year in and year out – don’t drink and drive. 

“We estimated there were 15,000 people camped along 266km of the race course during the long weekend.

“There were several car crashes and lots of injuries, but these were on the track and efficiently taken care of by other emergency services.

“Overall, it was a good weekend and the majority of people attending behaved, but it was not without its issues and we were made aware of incidents in which people were doing the wrong thing.

“The Finke Desert Race long weekend is a long awaited event on the social calendar, so it’s disappointing when and if a minority ruin it for the rest of us.”

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