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Source: South Australia Police

South Australia Police were on hand across the State as the South Australian community celebrated into the night, the end of a challenging 2020.

While traditional New Year’s Eve destinations across the state including the CBD, Victor Harbor, Limestone Coast and Glenelg were closely monitored, most New Year’s Eve events were unable to be held across the state due to COVID-19 restrictions. However many people still chose to come to the city to celebrate the incoming New Year, with nearly 21,000 cricket fans attending Adelaide Oval to watch the Big Bash Cricket.  

The warm weather also enticed people of all ages to popular beaches including Glenelg, Henley Beach and Semaphore to see in the New Year. 

Before the New Year’s celebrations commenced, police issued warnings that anti-social and disorderly behaviour would not be tolerated and a highly visible police presence would be utilised in the traditionally popular areas throughout the State and on public transport. 

Acting Assistant Commissioner, Security and Emergency Management Service, John Venditto said, “We are really pleased with how the majority of South Australians have responded in such a positive way overnight with no major disturbances across the state”. 

“Most people were eager to enjoy the night and to do the right thing, with only a small minority making poor choices that required police attention ”

“While planning for New Year’s Eve involves a large police contingent, we knew that the absence of any formal celebrations would mean that New Year’s Eve would look different to previous years. But we still planned on  a large groups of people would be still keen to celebrate, unwind and close the chapter of what has been a very difficult year”

“I would like to acknowledge those police officers and other emergency services who worked across the state to ensure the safety of the community.”

Overall there were a total of 78 arrests made across the State, the majority for a wide range of behavioural type offences. There was also 15  people were reported and 139 expiation notices issued for offences including mainly consuming alcohol in a dry zone, plus drug possession.

The number of arrests is a reduction from last year which saw 106 arrests, 20 people reported and 92 expiation notices issued for behavioural offences.

SAPOL also conducted a State wide drink and drug driving operation conducting a total of just over 4,700 tests with 4,242 breath tested for alcohol and 461 for drug tested at mobile and static block testing stations.

There were 43 drivers positive to alcohol and 25 for drugs.  Police also defected 53 vehicles and issued 124 traffic related expiations.

The highest readings recorded over the operation were:

A 29-year-old man from Henley Beach South was stopped on Port Road at Thebarton just after 5am, registering a blood alcohol reading of 0.200 or four times over the legal limit of 0.05.

A 25-year-old Ottoway man registered 0.173 and a 22-year-old man from Salisbury East blew 0.135 also at a block testing station on Port Road at Thebarton.

A 27-year-old man from Adelaide registered a breath analysis reading of 0.143 at Keswick

To the publics credit; although COVID restrictions were in place restricting numbers at private gatherings, there was only the one COVID-19 breach, with one party host fined at Christies Beach for exceeding the 50 person limit.

Even though the New Year’s Eve celebrations are now over this does not mean we can become complacent.

We must continue to be vigilant in our committed response to COVID-19.

We ask that all South Australians continue to work with emergency service workers and SA Health in maintaining the high level of cooperation that has been so evident in this state in reducing the spread of COVID-19 so far – and as we move further in 2021.