Esperance Show weekend sees 2937 random driving tests

Police conduct a random breath test just outside the Showgrounds. Photo: Jake Dietsch.
Police conduct a random breath test just outside the Showgrounds. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

Esperance Police have hailed a successful weekend following positive results from a state and local police operation.

Operation Carnbrook went into effect at the start of the Esperance and Districts Agricultural Show and finished on Sunday, October 20.

Acting senior sergeant Blake Ashurst told The Express police did 2937 random tests over the weekend.

Of those, only three drink-drivers were detected. Only one of those three was charged with a DUI, which means the driver was at least three times the legal limit.

However, police detected 17 drug-affected drivers in that same period.

Sergeant Ashurst said the majority of the tests were done by traffic staff from Perth.

He said positive readings were fairly even between cannabis and meth-affected drivers.

During the operation, police also issued 37 speeding tickets.

Sergeant Ashurst said police were "very, very pleased" there were almost no anti-social incidents and no complaints were made related to the show.

"We only issued one move on order to a juvenile at the show and that was about as bad as it got. There were absolutely no incidents whatsoever," he said.

"The driving statistics were higher than what we would normally see due to the sheer number of people that were tested.

"Three positive alcohol tests out of nearly 3000 is a pretty good result realistically. I'd probably be more concerned by the 17 positive drug wipes. Obviously a much higher reading than the alcohol tests.

"Possibly it's an assumption that people don't think they're going to be drug tested."

Sergeant Ashurst said the drug driving message may be under reported and may need to be pushed a bit more.

The sergeant gave credit to the Esperance Show committee for its own efforts at maintaining a safe environment over the weekend.

"There's been a lot of engagement with the organisers in the weeks beforehand and they arranged their own security and preventative measures," he said.

"That security worked really well, police enforcement worked really well and there was a lot of engagement between different agencies to make it happen."

The weekend operation also saw liquor enforcement officers come to Esperance from Kalgoorlie to check licensed premises, including the beer tent at the show.

In total, about 15 extra officers were in town in addition to extra staff at Esperance Police patrolling the show.

Sergeant Ashurst reminded the community that while the booze and drug buses had gone for now, traffic enforcement would continue.

"With harvest season coming up, soon there'll be a lot more heavy vehicles on the road and a lot more cars on the road in general," he said.

"We'll be doing enforcement out in the more regional farming areas as well. Focusing on speed and heavy vehicle enforcement."