Drug, alcohol bus now in use in the wider Albury region

A NEW drug bus is helping Albury police in the fight against substance affected drivers.

Highway patrol members tested motorists for several hours in Young Street on Friday, using the next bus in the city for the first time.

The vehicle allows police to conduct further tests on positive drivers out in the field, rather than arresting people and taking them back to the station.

Sergeant Darryl Thomas said it would allow more testing to be conducted in remote locations.

“It’s the first time it’s been here in Albury,” he said.

“It’s new to our cluster and we will be rotating it around.

“It’s a good high profile tool we can use.

“Instead of having to arrest someone and take them back to the police station to do drug tests or breath tests, we can do it here onsite.”

A man tested positive to cannabis shortly after officers started the operation on Friday morning.

Dozens of drivers were tested in Young Street over several hours on Friday. 

Full results were not available. 

The roadside testing kits give an indication for the presence of marijuana and amphetamine-type substances including ice, speed and ecstasy. 

If drivers return a positive result, they undergo further tests. 

Sergeant Thomas said most people would be surprised by how many people are driving with a drug in their system.

“It seems to be very prevalent in society today,” he said.  

“I think the surprise has probably gone away from us now, given our understanding of how prevalent it is in society.”

Police will use the bus in the wider region at random times.

Friday’s testing comes ahead of the busy Christmas period, with police forces on both sides of the border to run lengthy operations.

Sergeant Thomas said the testing undertaken by police was about ensuring road safety. 

​”Over the Christmas period, make sure you’re responsible with your drinking,” he said. 

“Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking and especially don’t drive if you’ve taken an illegal substance. 

“Be ready to be tested. 

“We will be out in force over the Christmas holidays with Operation Safe Arrival, and you will be tested.”