Man charged after allegedly caught drink driving with two flat tyres at Hexham

A Metford man was allegedly caught high-range drink driving with two flat tyres during the long weekend road blitz.

The man was charged with having a high-range blood alcohol level after he allegedly returned a reading of 0.153.

It came after Maitland highway patrol officers saw a car that had damage that looked like the vehicle had hit something at 6.10am on Sunday.

The car was travelling on the New England Highway at Hexham when police signaled it to pull over.

As the driver looked for a safe place to stop, police said the tyres disintegrated and parts of the rims flew off.

The 26-year-old was breath tested and returned a positive result. He was taken to Maitland Police Station, where he registered the 0.153 reading. Beside that incident and a fatal crash on Thursday, Central Hunter police were pleased with the results of the rest of the long weekend operation.

Double demerits were in effect for speeding, illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seat belt and riding without a helmet from Thursday to Monday.

During the blitz, entitled Operation Tortoise, Central Hunter police performed 2750 random breath tests.

Out of those, three people were charged for drink driving.

Police also conducted 21 roadside drug tests in the Central Hunter command. Three people produced a positive result.

Maitland highway patrol Sergeant Damon Bugden said even though that rate was significantly higher than the drink driving charges, it was still better than other operations. He said during a targeted drug testing operation, the ratio of people driving under the influence of drugs was about one in three.

Police also made six other traffic charges, issued 66 speeding tickets and detected 138 other traffic infringements during Operation Tortoise.

Sergeant Bugden said police were called to six vehicle crashes across the command during the operation.

The first was a two-vehicle crash at Brandy Hill on Thursday, which claimed the life of a 27-year-old man.

Sergeant Bugden said there were no major injuries in the other five incidents.

He said the figures were pretty consistent for an Easter long weekend.

Sergeant Bugden said the weekend was generally a quieter period in the Central Hunter as many people left town for the four-day holiday.