Friday, 17 April 2009 - 4:12pm |
National News

Nine lose licences in three weeks

1 min read

Police have conducted almost 30,000 breath tests along State Highway One from Picton to Bluff in the last three weeks, in an on-going operation targeting drunk drivers.

The 29,464 checkpoint stops and 478 mobile stops, which included the Easter period, found 32 drivers over the legal limit. Nine of those returned an alcohol reading higher than 650 micrograms per litre of breath, and had their driver licences immediately suspended. The highest reading was 1,051 micrograms per litre of breath, over two-and-a-half times the legal limit of 400 micrograms.

Senior Sergeant Steve Larking, Team Leader of the Southern Highway Patrol, said he was pleased the message of not drinking and driving was getting through to most people.

"However, it's disappointing to see persistent offenders who still put their own lives and the lives of other people at risk by getting behind the wheel and driving when intoxicated," he said.

One recidivist offender surprised Dunedin Police when they found him slumped over the wheel of a stationary car in Princess Street. The grossly intoxicated driver was asleep, with the engine still running. In addition to this - his sixth - excess breath alcohol charge, enquiries showed outstanding arrest warrants from 2008 for matters which included drink driving.

Another recidivist drink driver, caught in Tasman District, was over one-and-a-half times the legal limit behind the wheel of a 10-tonne delivery truck, and had his licence suspended for 28 days.

The work was part of a wider traffic operation codenamed Tahi, a five-month exercise to improve safety along State Highway One in the South Island. Ending June 30th, Operation Tahi will cycle through phases targeting alcohol, speed, high-risk and dangerous driving, seat belts, and commercial and heavy vehicles.



Tasman District:

Senior Sergeant Eric Davy, Highway Patrol (03) 547 6212

Inspector Hugh Flower, Road Policing Manager (03) 546 3840

Canterbury District:

Senior Sergeant Neville Hyland, Acting Road Policing Manager (03) 363 7400

Southern District:

Senior Sergeant Stephen Larking, Highway Patrol (03) 471 4800

Inspector Andrew Burns, Road Policing Manager (03) 471 4800