While we’re preparing to celebrate the Australia Day long weekend, don’t forget double demerit points are back in force, too.
NSW Police’s latest state-wide operation begins at 12.01am on Thursday 25 January, continuing through until 11.59pm on Sunday 28 January.
That means they’ll be out in numbers – on the ground, in the air and on the water – as general duties officers are supported by specialist units including the Police Transport Command, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Mounted Unit, Dog Unit and PolAir.
Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley said double demerit points would apply for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.
“Mateship, camaraderie, respect and diversity are all part of our story, so everyone has a role to play in looking out for their mates and loved ones this Australia Day,” the Minister for the Hunter added.
“If you plan on drinking, have a Plan B and know how you are getting home.
“Do not drink and drive and take care on and around waterways.”
Operation Australia Day 2024 Commander Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty said police were working closely with other government agencies to ensure a safe environment for all communities across metropolitan and regional areas.
“We want everyone to feel safe and respected as we come together to reflect on our shared history and celebrate contemporary Australia,” he added.
“We all love a good long weekend.
“But, what you need to know is your limits when consuming alcohol.
“Look after your mates, have a plan to get home safely, and know that police and emergency services are on hand if you need help.
“Our message is clear: make this an Australia Day to remember, not one you’d rather forget.
“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Australia Day is typically one of the most popular days to be on the water as well.
Marine Area Commander Superintendent Joe McNulty reminds skippers to check their vessel is in good working order and ensure the required safety equipment is on board, including life jackets.
“Life jackets should be used by anyone heading out on a boat, jet ski or kayak, as well as rock fishers,” he said.
“On Australia Day, Marine Area Command officers will also be focused on drink driving and will be random breath testing skippers on the water.
“The legal alcohol limit is 0.05 and anyone detected operating a boat while under the influence will face fines and charges.”
Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Commander Acting Assistant Commissioner Anthony Boyd explained it was the same situation for those on land.
“If you are planning to drink, don’t drive,” he said.
“Leave your car at home and catch public transport, taxis, or organise a designated driver.
“Both marked and unmarked police cars will be out in force patrolling all major roads and back streets – so don’t take the risk because you will get caught.”
For more news stories:
- Newcastle councillors keen to restore Australia Day citizenship ceremonies
- Government doubles down on Sydney-Newcastle high-speed rail project
- Newcastle’s international terminal eyes off 2025 opening
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