Northern Region police were kept busy at the weekend, with more than 400 businesses being inspected as part of a high-visibility campaign targeting alcohol-related crime and public safety compliance.
Operation Pariac, which also focussed on anti-social behaviour, public order incidents and assaults, allowed general duties and specialist licensing officers to check up on local venues and ensure patrons were aware of their responsibilities to maintain a COVID-safe environment as restrictions continue to ease.
In the Northern Region – which takes in police districts Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle City and Port Stephens-Hunter, along with Brisbane Water, Coffs-Clarence, Manning-Great Lakes, Mid North Coast, Richmond, Tuggerah and Tweed-Byron – 14 arrests were made, with 13 charges laid.
Officers also visited 440 businesses, issuing 16 Liquor and Gaming Act infringements; 20 move-on directions; 12 COVID-19 related warnings and eight possess/supply drug breaches.
Two-hundred-and-two random breath tests (RBTs) took place, too, with 11 drivers detected doing the wrong thing.
A man was charged with high-range PCA after allegedly being caught almost six times the legal limit at Port Stephens.
About 4.30pm on Sunday 13 December, police were alerted to a Izuzu D-Max utility driving erratically throughout the Tanilba Bay area.
A member of the public approached the vehicle after it mounted the kerb in a carpark on President Wilson Walk and stopped atop a garden bed.
The keys were removed from the ignition and police notified.
Officers attached to Port Stephens-Hunter Police District attended a short time later and spoke with the driver, a 49-year-old Mallabula man.
He then returned a positive RBT result.
He was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station, where he underwent a breath analysis, which allegedly returned a reading of 0.288.
The man is due to face Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday 11 January.
Operation Pariac Commander Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell said he was pleased the majority of venues understood and were complying with all the required COVID procedures and Public Health Orders.
“As more people travel throughout the state, we must stay aware of COVID-19 and continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing,” he added.
“It’s great to see so many publicans and licensees following all the relevant Public Health Order regulations while maintaining a safe and vibrant venue for patrons over the festive season.
“Licensing police will be following up with those venues who are not abiding by the Liquor and Gaming Act to ensure summer in the regions is safe and enjoyable for all.”
During the two-day operation over the Northern, Southern and Western regions:
- 65 people were arrested and 68 charges were laid for offences including assault, resist arrest, possess prohibited drug and malicious damage
- 1056 business inspections were conducted
- 146 breaches of the Liquor and Gaming Act were detected, with 37 infringements issued
- 19 COVID-19 related warnings, with no infringements issued
- 369 RSA Competency Card and 132 security licence checks were undertaken, and
- 1165 RBTs conducted with 35 PCAs detected