Monday, June 14, 2010

Dozens caught with drugs at Winter Sound System dance festival

Winter Sound System aftermath

Julieanne Valenta (left) and Kate Hansen wait for their lift home from the Winter Sound System dance party at Melbourne Park. Picture: Ellen Smith Source: Herald Sun

Winter Sound System dance party

Cleaning up after the Winter Sound System dance party that was held overnight at Rod Laver Arena. Picture: Ellen Smith Source: Herald Sun

A DRUG blitz at the Winter Sound System dance festival detected 63 partygoers trying to smuggle drugs into Melbourne Park.

Two men face serious drug charges, including an 18-year-old male caught with 750 ecstasy tablets, who will be charged with drug trafficking.

Victoria Police Passive Alert Detection (PAD) dogs sniffed out cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines at the event.

An Ambulance Victoria spokesman said two people have been taken to hospital from the event with suspected drug overdoses.

Police say they are targeting dance clubs and parties where people take a variety of chemicals with no idea of their actual identity, purity or possible medical effects.

“Our message is clear - it’s not okay to use illicit drugs at home, at a party or at a dance festival - and it is doubly stupid to ingest chemicals with no knowledge about what it actually is or who has produced it,” Inspector Paul Pottage said.

Insp Pottage said it is important young people think about the consequences of using illicit drugs.

“In the case of a currently popular dance drug the overdose level leading to death is as little as one or two drops - not something anyone should want to risk in a dark and jostling dance environment ,” he said.

Most of today’s offenders will be placed on drug diversion programs, but Insp Pottage said those with drug convictions need to realise that it is a black mark against their name.

“International travel with such a conviction becomes extremely difficult - something that many young people learn all too late when they are trying to get a visa for the US, southeast Asian and many other countries.”

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