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Policing amped up for holidays

A mobile police base at Tinui Village last month. PHOTO/FILE

Festive season breath-testing checkpoints are on the horizon, and police are out to stop motorists driving intoxicated, on drugs, or when overtired during the Christmas and New Year period.

Senior Sergeant Ian Osland told the Times-Age that Wairarapa Police were being supported by the Wellington District Road Police Group, and the combination would be “highly visible”.

“We will be out providing a highly visible presence, and just so there are no surprises, I can assure the public that if you or your passengers fail to wear a seatbelt, or you are seen using your cell phone while driving, you can expect to be stopped and held accountable,” Osland said.

“Every motorist stopped, no matter what time of the day or night, will be required to undergo a roadside breath screening test.

“If you intend to drink, and you value your driver licence, then don’t drive – organise alternative transport, or have a sober driver available,” he said.

Not long after the alert level 4 covid-19 lockdown, police issued a zero-tolerance notice for drivers going over the speed limit.

It was not uncommon for tickets to be issued for speeds of 53kmh, for example in 50kmh zones.

“Discretion on a case-by-case basis is available to an officer, but there would be very few acceptable excuses when you consider what higher speeds mean to the chance of surviving a crash,” Osland said.

“Motorists need to be aware that there have been changes to many areas within Wairarapa where speed limits have reduced, so be alert, scan for the speed signs and stay within the recommended limits.”

He issued a warning to teenagers who were drinking in public.

“Any person found drinking under-age in public could see themselves liable for an Alcohol Infringement Offence Notice.”

Drinking alcohol in public in the Masterton CBD, and the skate park is banned at all times.

The ban is also enforced at Riversdale Beach and Castlepoint coastal settlements on December 30 at 6pm and remains in place until 6am New Year’s Day.

The mobile police base would be deployed frequently to the coastal and rural locations.

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