Mike Stevens | Jul 24, 2009

DAY ONE of Victoria Police's three-day Operation Ardent blitz saw 216 motorists nabbed, with 14 charged with exceeding the alcohol limit - the worst offender being a P-plater who blew a 0.206 reading. A total of 3472 breath tests were conducted.

Of the 216 motorists caught breaking the law, 85 were nabbed for speeding - with 16 exceeding the limit by more than 25km/h.

Positive early signs for TAC's new drug driving campaign came in the shape of 11 random drug tests producing no offenders.

Other offences detected include 29 drivers using their mobile phones, and 20 people for not wearing a seatbelt.

Owners' cars came under fire as well, with three vehicles taken off the road for being unroadworthy, and 14 others issued with warning notices to repair defects.

Seven of the 216 offenders were already either disqualified or unlicensed.

Victoria Police also announced yesterday that it would turn to popular social networking website Twitter to broadcast the misdeeds of offenders caught during Operation Ardent.

Deputy Commissioner for Road Policing, Ken Lay, tweeted continuous updates on the Victoria Police Twitter page, www.twitter.com/VictoriaPolice throughout the night.

Some of the updates included: “Another drunk has just been removed from the roads in Berwick. He blew .10. The excuse ‘I only live around the corner’ didn't work.”

Another tweet included: “Two drivers in Berwick blew .06 earlier tonight. They both argued ‘I'm only a little bit over’. Too bad. Licences lost.”

One follower wrote: “Following Victoria Police is like watching an episode of CSI. ‘He told us he was heading back to the pub. He'll be walking.’ Bwaahahaha!”

Traffic Inspector Dennis Watson said the operation served as a stern warning that Police would not tolerate any excuses for breaking the law.

“Operation Ardent is about high saturation policing in a localised area,” Inspector Watson said.

“People breaking the road rules need to realise that not only are they placing themselves and others at risk, but there is also a very real chance they’ll be caught.”

“We are warning drivers to think very carefully about their driving behaviour over the coming weekend.”

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