Tuesday, 25 June 2013 - 10:53am |

Party smart at the Mardi Gras

2 min read

As the good times are preparing to roll at the Ohakune annual Mountain Mardi Gras this weekend, Police are urging visitors to the area to stay safe and party smart.

Central District Road Policing Manager Inspector Dave White said: "Partying smart is all about having a good time responsibly. Over the past few years the behaviour at the Mardi Gras has been really positive, its just a small minority that the party smart message doesn't seem to be getting through to."

This year's Mardi Gras is on Saturday 29 June. A liquor ban is in place in Ohakune and Police will act on breaches of the ban. There will also be a road policing operation in place in the area from Friday with the Traffic Alcohol Group and Highway Patrol.

Out of the approximately 6,000 people that attended the event in 2012, Police arrested 20 people. Most arrests were for breach of the liquor ban, although there were 2 arrests for assaults on Police, and 2 arrests for disorderly behaviour and fighting.

There were also 14 people processed for driving with excess breath alcohol. Of the 14, eight were caught on the Sunday morning between 8am and 12pm.

"Police don't just say these things for the sake of it; Drink driving is not smart it's just plain stupid. You not only put your lives at risk but the lives of your passengers and other drivers.

"People coming to the Mardi Gras should expect to be breath-tested and if they are found to have excess breath alcohol they will face serious consequences.

"We want everyone coming to the area to have a memorable time, and when I mean memorable, I mean for the right reasons. No one wants to spend their weekend in a cell after making a stupid decision. Look out for yourselves and your mates and party smart," said Inspector White.

Party smart safety tips:

• Plan your trip carefully
• Don't drink and drive. Remember Police also test for drug-driving.
• Arrange safe transport to and from the venue or nominate a sober driver
• Seatbelts save lives so always buckle up
• Lock your vehicles and make sure all personal items and valuables are out of sight
• Moderate your drinking — For every alcoholic drink have a glass of water or a soft drink
• Don't accept drinks from strangers
• Keep all valuables close to you and out of sight; only take to the event what you really need to take
• Look out for your friends. If they have had too much to drink don't let them wander off, make sure they get home safely.

Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Sara Stavropoulos on 027 702 0850.