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1200 stopped in booze blitz

By Alisa Yong

[email protected]

A drink-driver alleged to be more than four times the legal limit was caught during a booze blitz last weekend, but police say overall drink-driving is on the decline

The booze bus and mobile police patrols were out in force last Friday night, stopping 1216 cars during a six-hour period.

Only one drink-driver, a 40-year-old Greytown man who blew 1050mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, was nabbed.

Acting traffic sergeant Shayne Nolan said the arrest fitted with the trend police were noticing of drivers being near the new lower level or being at the extremely high end.

“[They are] the ones that simply don’t care about the law”.

However, there were less people drink-driving since the legal limit dropped to 250mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, Mr Nolan said.

“Overall from the high volume of cars that were pulled over the offences detected were low, which is good.

“For a Friday night it is pretty good, but it is something that we have seen a significant downward trend since the new legislation lowering the limit.

“Where people would go out and have four or five beers, people go out now and maybe have a couple.

“It is something that we are all noticing, it’s pretty well nationwide. You do get, obviously as was noticed that night, people that do drink, but generally if someone does drink it’s right at the lowest level where it’s pretty much an infringement or it’s that they are ‘drunk’ drunk.”

Twelve constables from Wellington were in Wairarapa on Friday night, based in Chapel and High St and later Greytown.

“I’m definitely getting feedback from them that they are seeing a downturn in general, getting less and less people who have to blow evidentially but obviously they are catching a couple still who are just infringements.”

Police also seized two cars from forbidden or suspended drivers and a number of safety and compliance tickets were issued, he said.

With the local rugby finals coming up, the next big push on alcohol would be next weekend.

“With the club finals coming up locally we are stepping up our efforts and there will be extra staff around, policing in particular alcohol, whether public disorders or drink-driving,” Mr Nolan said.

The drink-drive limit for drivers 20 years and over are a breath alcohol limit of 250mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, and a blood alcohol limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

For drivers under 20 the limit is zero.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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