5 April 2024

Three arrests in four days for drug driver allegedly caught speeding at 180 km/h with machete

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Albury Local Court

A Victorian man is in custody and set to face Albury Local Court in May for a string of offences allegedly committed during the Easter long weekend. Photo: Vanessa Hayden.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested three times in less than a week, including once for allegedly speeding at 180km/h while under the influence of an illicit drug and in possession of a machete.

The arrests came during five-day police Operation Brushwood, established to target rural crime throughout Murray River Police District between 28 March 2024 and 1 April 2024.

Police said officers arrested and charged the Victorian man after he was allegedly detected driving a ute west at 180km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Riverina Highway, Savernake, 100km west of Albury on 28 March at about 3:30 pm.

The driver was stopped on Corcoran Street, Berrigan, and was subjected to a roadside breath and drug analysis, which allegedly returned a positive result.

Police say they seized a machete and a substance believed to be an illicit drug when they searched his vehicle.

The man was arrested and taken to Finley Police Station where he allegedly returned a positive secondary drug test which has been sent for further analysis.

Police issued the man with an infringement notice for speeding and suspended his licence. He was issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for drug possession, and a fine for possession of a machete. The man’s ute was also issued with a major defect notice.

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Two days later (30 March) police stopped the same man driving the same vehicle while patrolling Racecourse Road in Deniliquin at about 10 pm.

He was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returned a positive reading. Police also allegedly located illegal drugs when the man was searched.

He was taken to Deniliquin Police Station, where he was subjected to a secondary breath analysis which returned a reading of 0.04. However, due to his driving privileges being suspended, he was subject to special PCA limits.

A secondary drug test was also conducted which returned a positive result and the man was suspended from driving for 24 hours.

The man was then charged with four offences, driving when driver visiting privileges were withdrawn, possessing a prohibited drug, a special category driver drive with special range PCA, and breaching bail. The driver was released on strict conditional bail.

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But the following day (31 March) around 2:50 am, police were called to Deniliquin Racecourse following reports of a man driving a ute and doing burnouts.

The same man was once again arrested and was taken to Deniliquin Police Station where he was charged with a further four offences, including driving recklessly, driving when driver visiting privileges were withdrawn, using a vehicle in contravention of a major defect notice, using registrable vehicle not display authorised number-plates.

He was refused bail and appeared in Wagga Wagga Local Court that day, where he was once again refused bail and remanded in custody to appear in Albury Local Court on 14 May 2024.

During Operation Brushwood, officers conducted 60 random breath tests, issued 11 traffic infringement notices, conducted seven inspections of licensed premises, made three drug detections, as well as multiple vehicle and person searches, fishing licence and firearm inspections, and campsite inspections at Werai National Park and Murray Valley National Park.

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