29 May 2024

Man charged with high-range drink driving over Yoogali crash

| Oliver Jacques
Wagga Police Car.

The man’s vehicle was also allegedly unregistered. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

A 64-year-old expatriate man who allegedly refused to undertake a roadside breath test in Yoogali was taken to Griffith Police Station, where he allegedly recorded a blood alcohol reading of more than four times the legal limit.

Inspector Glenn Smith informed Region the incident occurred at around 5:40 pm on Sunday (26 May).

The station received a call about a white Ford Territory that appeared to have crashed on Kurrajong Avenue and was obstructing traffic. The car had NSW registration plates.

READ ALSO Griffith winery’s collapse subject of new Supreme Court hearing after Collina house sale

Police arrived at the location shortly after 6 pm and found the Ford Territory with its hazard lights on at the unbroken kerb line. The man allegedly identified himself as the driver of the Ford Territory and said that one of his tyres had blown.

Officers asked the man for his driver’s licence but he was allegedly unable to show it to them.

Police told the driver to take a roadside breath test, instructing him to blow into an Alcolizer tube until told to stop. The man allegedly refused to do so on several occasions.

Police informed the man that he was under arrest for the purpose of a breath analysis. They took him to Griffith Police Station where they allegedly found out the man had an expired overseas licence. A further check found the Ford Territory registration had allegedly expired on 30 April 2024.

The 64-year-old was then submitted to a breath analysis which returned an alleged reading of 0.226 grams of alcohol per 210 litres of breath. This is more than four times the legal limit of 0.05.

The man was then charged with driving with a high-range alcohol reading and failure to submit to a test or analysis.

He was also issued traffic infringement notices for driving an uninsured motor vehicle on the road; using an unregistered registrable Class A motor vehicle on the road; and driving with a licence expired within the last two years. He will front Griffith court within the next few weeks.

Fatality Free Friday – 31 May

Inspector Smith felt it was timely to remind people that Fatality Free Friday – one of Australia’s largest national community-based road safety programs – is set for 31 May.

“The alarming research shows that almost two in three NSW drivers admit to breaking road laws, with one in four drivers committing an offence at least monthly,” NSW Police said in a media statement.

“The top three road laws broken by the state’s drivers included speeding (47 per cent), driving fatigued (29 per cent) and failing to observe a stop sign (25 per cent).”

READ ALSO Drivers, child passengers escape injury as Toyota Prado crashes on Griffith’s Sidlow Road

The launch of Fatality Free Friday comes as the state faces bleak road trauma statistics.

Last year, NSW recorded 353 lives lost on the state’s roads – a 28 per cent rise compared with 2022.

“The current road statistics tell us that we need safer roads and by each of us making the promise to drive safely on Fatality Free Friday, we are one step closer to achieving that,” Inspector Smith said.

NSW Police encourage road users to take responsibility for their actions by:

  • Taking regular breaks on long trips
  • Driving to the conditions
  • Avoiding the four Ds – Drink, drugs, distracted and dangerous driving
  • Not using a mobile phone while driving.

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.