Officers from the North Shore/ Waitakere/Rodney Police District detected 74 people driving with excess breath alcohol in an anti drink drive operation at the weekend.
Police from the District′s Strategic Traffic Units, [STU] the specialist Traffic Alcohol group, [TAG] and the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Group [CVIU] checked a range of vehicles at seven roadside locations in the Waitakere City area. These included the main arterial off ramps from the North Western Motorway.
Waitakere Police Tactical Co-ordinator, Senior Sergeant Jacqui Whittaker, says among the 74 drivers detected, there were 17 persons who elected to have a blood test taken to fully determine whether or not they will be facing court proceedings.
″A total of 6,041 vehicles were stopped by Police during the two night operation.″
″Among those who tested positive for breath alcohol, there were 19 drivers who were under 20 years of age,″ she said.
Senior Sergeant Whittaker said that during the operation Police also made some other notable apprehensions, including a total of 18 arrests for the following offences:
• 3 x stolen motor vehicles - [1 of those drivers was disqualified from driving]
• 3 disqualified drivers
• 4 warrants to arrest
• 1 drives whilst forbidden
• 2 breach of bails
• 3 possession of drugs
• 1 dangerous driving and failing to stop
• 1 disorderly behaviour
• 1 false details
″Police also impounded 8 vehicles, and there were 19 persons who had their driver′s licence suspended,″ she said.
″When a similar operation was carried out in October 2005, there were 4843 vehicles stopped. There were 51 drivers prosecuted for driving with excess breath alcohol, and 12 of these drivers were under 20 years of age,″
″These latest results are concerning. They clearly indicate the ″Don′t Drink and Drive″ message, is simply being ignored by some people,″ she said.
″One male driver stopped by Police in Waitakere, was detected to have 1016 micrograms of alcohol per breath. The permitted level is 400 micrograms of alcohol per breath and this driver was almost three times over the legal limit.″
″With both Easter and school holidays upon us, everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the impact and consequences of mixing their drinking with their driving.″
″There were three serious injury crashes during the weekend within Waitakere city, and alcohol was a factor in all of them.″
″Responsible people are entitled to drive the streets of Waitakere City safely, and they should not be faced with the likelihood of damage and road trauma that those who engage in drink-drive behaviour, have the potential to cause,″ she said.
″Police actively promote a variety of options which are readily available, so people do not have to drink and drive. This has been repeatedly emphasised,″ she said.
Police will continue to have ongoing checkpoints throughout the Easter and extended holiday period and we would like to clearly state to the drivers who make it their choice to drink and drive, ″You will be caught″, Senior Sergeant Whittaker said.