Police are reminding people that as summer and the party season gets underway, there is even more reason for people to take extra care with their driving and not take risks.
Acting Otago Coastal Area Commander Inspector James Ure says Police will have a presence on southern roads right throughout the summer, to help ensure everyone gets to their destination safely.
“There is one key message for drivers: if you drink alcohol, don’t drive. It’s that simple.”
In the last weekend of November there was a series of coordinated and targeted checkpoints throughout the region, providing a clear indication to motorists of what to expect as Police try to keep roads safer, and free of impaired drivers.
“Drivers can expect to be stopped and tested anytime, anywhere,” Inspector Ure says.
On Saturday November 27, road policing teams conducted four checkpoints around Dunedin city.
More than 700 drivers were stopped over the course of the evening, with 40 of those found to have consumed alcohol, and four over the legal limit.
“We are going to do all we can to make a positive impact on our roads by targeting those who think they can drink and drive, particularly as we lead up to the Christmas break.
“This means a more intensive approach to our breath testing checkpoints, moving from place to place quickly, and in all manner of locations.”
There were also patrols and checkpoints in Southland and Central Otago in the last weekend of November.
Checkpoints in Wanaka, Roxburgh, Albert Town, and Cromwell stopped a total of 748 vehicles for breath testing, with nine drivers processed for being over the legal limit.
Across Southland, more than 500 vehicles were stopped during the weekend, followed by three further checkpoints on Tuesday which stopped 765 vehicles.
New equipment is helping with this intensification, with staff making good use of the new Mobile Road Safety Bases across the district.
“These bases are terrific – staff are able to deploy in them, set up a checkpoint within minutes and get through a large number of tests, before packing down quickly and moving to the next spot.”
Police continued their operation in the first weekend of December, reminding drivers that we can be anywhere, anytime.
This weekend across Central Otago and Dunedin, Police stopped 666 drivers, 19 of whom were over the legal limit.
In one incident near Alexandra a vehicle was reported swerving across the road and involved in several near misses. Police stopped the vehicle and the driver blew an Excess Breath Alcohol reading of 400 micrograms. The limit for drivers over 20 years old is 250.
In Invercargill, Police conducted 14 checkpoints and stopped over 3000 vehicles between Tuesday and Saturday. Eleven people blew Excess Breath Alcohol readings.
Southern District Police will continue to intensify the use of high-volume checkpoints to reduce the severe impacts caused by motorists driving under the influence of alcohol.
Police remain focused on changing four main behaviors (RIDS: restraints, impairment, distraction, speed) which contribute to death and injury on our roads as a result of people driving too fast for the conditions, driving while impaired (by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue), driving while distracted (including using a cell phone) and not being properly restrained.
“We want to make it clear that if you’re drinking, don’t drive. Instead, plan ahead and arrange for an alternative means of transport. No motorist should be driving impaired – whether that is from alcohol, drugs, or fatigue.”
“We do this to keep people safe. Especially coming into Christmas we don’t want any family to have spend the holiday season grieving for a loved one.”
Issued by Police Media Centre