Tuesday, 19 December 2006 - 9:16am |
National News

Police introduce new breath screening device

2 min read

A new breath screening device with increased accuracy in detecting alcohol will be part of the Police rollout of new vehicles.

The new cars feature a range of enhanced safety features including the breath screening device.

The devices are being introduced progressively over the next few years and will boost the numbers by more than 700.

"I want every Police car to be a booze bus," said Assistant Commissioner Peter Marshall today.

"These new breath screening devices not only allow us to detect more drink drivers but will also be an imprtant tool in strengthening the crossover between drink drivers and other criminal activity.

"These days, the majority of criminals use the roads and these devices will enable us to increase the likelihood of detection, while at the same time, increasing our ability to detect drunk drivers."

Drink driving offences in New Zealand have been increasing over the last few years with approximately 1000 more drunk drivers detected each year.

"While most New Zealanders drive safely, do not speed and do not drink and drive, we want to ensure that those who insist on endangering the rest of us are detected," he said.

"If people want to live dangerously, they should be looking for activities that don't take out other random blameless and innocent people too."

With the holiday season just around the corner many people are stressed, drinking at end of year functions and also driving long distances to holiday destinations.

"The tragedy of a fatality at this time of year is something we hope to avoid and we do not want the holiday period to be marked by sadness for countless families."

Police vehicles will also be driving with their lights on at all times over the holiday period. This makes the vehicles more visible, but will also serve as a reminder to everyone on the roads to be alert and to take care.

Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven thoroughly endorsed this policy today.

"I commend the Commissioner and the Police for promoting vehicle visibility on our roads. People ensuring they are highly visible when they are driving - at any time of the day - greatly improves their own safety and that of other road users.

"I hope all drivers will follow the excellent example being set by the Police," said Harry Duynhoven today.'


Media contact: Lesley Wallis 04 4707111


Please note:

The new Police breath screening device and new Police vehicles will be available for inspection and photos:

10am Tuesday 19th December

Police National Calibration Centre

32 Glover St