Australian police were shocked at drug test results following last weekend’s boutique electronic festival Strawberry Fields headlined by international luminaries Carl Craig, Tiga, Moodyman and Moonin, with one in two found under the influence of narcotics whilst driving from the three-day event.
Eastern Region Inspector David Ryan in the Victoria Police Report said that “of the 124 preliminary oral fluid tests for drugs, 51 returned a positive result,” adding “this number astounds me; nearly one person out of every two returned a positive reading.” Plainly put, he said he was “disgusted”
Although research is thin regarding driving post-drug intake, this number does seem a little high; although it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the kinds of narcotics found in the systems of these drivers, keeping in mind some would have a longer and lasting affect than others, i.e. LSD, acid or cannabis.
Police were happy with the result but still seemed shocked at the number with Inspector Ryan adding;
“We are happy that we have been able to remove these drivers from the road, however disappointed in how many people appear to think that it’s okay to drive whilst impaired… it is obvious to us that the people attending this event have held little regard for the safety of other road users.”
Alongside the roadside drug tests, a total of 77 people were charged for possession of illegal substances, including cocaine, ecstasy and ice, while a further two individuals were prosecuted for drug trafficking.
Although all of this paints a rather drab picture of electronic music and drugs in Australia – moreso after the death of a young teen earlier this year at the hardstyle event Def Con 1 – the festival was said to be a wildly successful jaunt without any serious health issues being reported and a stellar lineup of electronic music. Strawberry Fields constantly reminds its punters of the laws and regulations they follow and the close relationships they have with police.
Review to come.