Police flag drug driving concerns

Three drivers on Latrobe Valley roads tested positive to an illicit substance within the space of seven hours on Saturday, police have reported.

Latrobe Highway Patrol Sergeant Mick Williams said police were seeing more and more people testing positive for illicit drugs in their system.

“Statistics are showing that drugs are out-numbering drink driving as a major factor in fatality collisions,” Sgt Williams said.

The first incident happened at 3.30pm on Saturday, 8 July when a 26 year-old Newborough man was allegedly caught travelling 96 kilometres per hour in a 60km/h zone.

Police said the man was driving along Moore Street in Moe before a preliminary oral fluid test allegedly came back positive to an illicit drug.

Then, three hours later police intercepted and impounded a Ford sedan allegedly travelling 126km/h in a 100km/h zone at an off-ramp near the Princes Freeway at Morwell.

Police pulled over the driver, a 38 year-old man from Morwell, who was alleged to be driving an unregistered vehicle on a disqualified licence, police said.

A preliminary oral fluid test allegedly returned a positive result.

Later that evening, police noticed an alleged unregistered vehicle travelling along Dayble Street in Morwell about 10.30pm shortly before the driver, a 33 year-old Yallourn North woman, was pulled over for questioning.

Police said she also allegedly tested positive to an illicit substance in the preliminary oral fluid test.

“We don’t condone drug taking and we would be naive to think people aren’t taking drugs, but we just plead with people when they do engage in these illegal activities not to drive… it’s only a matter of time before another person is seriously injured or killed,” Sgt Williams said.

The three drivers were prohibited from driving for 12 hours, with secondary oral fluid tests sent off for analysis.

The drivers are expected to be charged on summons.