Police chase (on foot) nets booze-accused driver

By Kate Shuttleworth

File Photo / NZ Herald
File Photo / NZ Herald

A motorist who had allegedly fled a checkpoint in Hamilton got the shock of his life when an officer managed to chase down his car on foot.

Sergeant John Stapleford of the Waikato traffic alcohol group said police had been operating an alcohol checkpoint with the booze bus when an officer flagged down the driver of a car to stop.

"Instead the southbound driver accelerated through without stopping. Unfortunately for him the street had raised traffic islands and was quite congested. One of our staff realised he wouldn't be able to get far with the traffic flow like that and took off after him on foot.''

Mr Stapleford said the offending driver realised he wouldn't get far when the car in front of him stopped outside the City's casino.

"He got a bit of a shock when an officer suddenly reached for his keys. Breath tested the 24-year-old man returned a breath alcohol result of 1074 micrograms which is very disappointing given the legal adult alcohol limit is 400 micrograms.''

A man is scheduled to appear in the Hamilton District Court on May 29 charged with careless driving and excess breath alcohol.

Police say it wasn't the only recent incident involving heavily intoxicated young male drivers making the wrong decisions.

A Hamilton teenager faces excess breath alcohol and careless driving charges after a breath alcohol test found him twice over the adult breath alcohol limit.

The 19-year-old crashed his vehicle into a parked trailer in Nawton, near Hamilton, early this morning.

Police said after the accident the youth drove off to a friend's property around the corner.

Sergeant Tom Smart said the 19-year-old told police he had been drinking in two city bars last night before he crashed his car into a parked trailer at about 3.40am.

"His car suffered frontal damage but instead of facing up to his actions the driver drove off. The owners of the trailer heard the disturbance and went out to investigate, tracking the car around the corner and phoning police.''

Mr Smart said the driver, who returned a breath alcohol test result of 926 micrograms, admitted he was responsible for the damage to both the trailer and his car.

"Considering all that's happened he would've been much better off using his last $20 on a taxi to get home safely, that way all he would be nursing is a hangover instead of court action and costs to repair his car. We ask those intending heading out tonight to consider all their options - soberly.''

The teenager would appear in Hamilton District Court in June.

- APNZ

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