Nowra features in ABC TV series Ice Wars on Tuesday night

In Tuesday night's episode of ABC's Ice Wars, almost half the drivers pulled over during a drug-testing operation in Nowra tested positive to meth or cannabis.
In Tuesday night's episode of ABC's Ice Wars, almost half the drivers pulled over during a drug-testing operation in Nowra tested positive to meth or cannabis.

A Nowra truckie who claims to use meth to stay awake for weeks at a time appears on Tuesday’s episode of ABC’s Ice Wars.

The four-part series follows the efforts of police to deal with the rise of ice use in Australia.

Part of Tuesday night’s episode focuses on Nowra, which has seen a huge spike in drug-driving arrests in recent years.

Positive results from roadside drug testing in the Shoalhaven has more than doubled between 2013 and 2015.

The show follows two highway patrol officers as they pull over drivers for drug tests – sometimes with the help of an on-board computer that scans number plates and shows which drivers may have a history of using ice.

One driver they pull over is a 40-year-old truck driver, who tests positive to ice.

He is arrested and taken to Nowra police station where a drug testing bus and Senior Constable John Lyall wait to carry out more detailed tests.

Snr Const Lyall operates one of five mobile drug testing buses that are in such demand in country areas that he’s booked out months in advance.

During the testing, the man tells Snr Const Lyall that he uses ice to deal with the demands of long-haul truck driving.

“He claims that when he's running on ice, he can stay awake for two to three weeks without sleep,” Senior Constable John Lyall tells the show.

“It blows me away that you can have a truck driver operating for three weeks straight without sleeping. In four years I've been doing this drug-testing, I wasn’t aware that someone could stay awake for that long on this substance.”

During a six-hour effort, the highway patrol crew pulled over and tested 15 drivers, and got six positive readings – a strike rate of 40 per cent.

“We get a lot of success down here in Nowra, particularly for ice,” Snr Const Lyall said.

Another positive test comes from Jarrod, who said he'd only gotten on ice the night before after being clean for months.

He said the “first taste” of ice was enough to hook him and make it hard to kick the habit.

Ice Wars screens on the ABC at 8.32pm on Tuesday.