Bay of Plenty Police are generally pleased with the overall public response to the weekend's Operation Unite alcohol reduction focus - but encourage people to be safety focused heading into the summer holiday season.
Twenty three of the 1799 motorists stopped at checkpoints or by mobile patrols on Friday night were over the drink drive limit with another three awaiting results of blood samples. A further four arrests were made for other offences arising from the vehicle stops.
"One drunk driver is one too many," said Senior Sergeant Colin McPherson, district coordinator for Operation Unite. "The highest level we recorded was 1129mgs which is disappointing considering the publicity given to the dangers of drinking and driving."
Senior Sergeant McPherson said police had strong support from partner agencies including Maori Wardens, district licensing authority staff, representatives from Health and ACC sectors
"Eastern Bays staff were especially active with Courts fines enforcement and NZ Transport Agency staff working alongside them. Two vehicles were confiscated by Courts and NZTA staff green stickered 14 vehicles for repairs.
"This united approaches helps reinforce to our communities that reducing alcohol related harm is not just for the police and other agencies to deal with. Self responsibility and looking after friends and families is crucial in making people feel safe and be safe," he said.
Thirty brief intervention resource packs were given out by police to people they dealt with on Friday night. This material included self help guides on how to moderate drinking, and a free 0800 helpline number to reach alcohol advisory services.
The Operation Unite team made compliance checks on 13 hotels, and detected seven breaches of the Sale of Liquor Act. Nine arrests were made for breaches of the liquor ban and 57 warnings were given.
Two liquor infringement notices were issued.
Eight controlled purchase operations were run with one failure at an on licence and one at an off licence.
"The Mt Maunganui outlet which sold alcohol to a minor on Friday night had previously been caught in an earlier operation," Senior Sergeant McPherson said. "They will be facing further action this time."
There were five arrests for alcohol fuelled disorder in Rotorua.
Senior Sergeant Colin McPherson
Operations Support Group
Bay of Plenty Police Headquarters
Tel: 07 349 9595