Youth, 15, among arrests for drink-drive offences

By Imran Ali


Three drink-drivers were caught at one police checkpoint in Whangarei within about an hour.

Police say that despite repeated warnings and advice, drivers continued to take the risk after drinking this festive season.

Acting Sergeant Jim Adamson said a 15-year-old male was among those stopped by officers between Friday night and early Saturday.

The youth was on a 24-hour curfew when he allegedly stole his friend's father's car and was spotted driving with no headlights on Bank St about 3am on Saturday.

As police attempted to stop him, he allegedly veered along the kerb and on to grass, narrowly missed a power pole, then crossed the centre line before coming to a stop.

Breath tests returned a reading of 320 micrograms of alcohol per litre of blood. The legal limit for those under 20 is zero.

Mr Adamson said the teenager appeared in the Whangarei District Court on charges of breaching bail, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, drink-driving and dangerous driving.

He was remanded in custody to reappear later.

Police also stopped a motorist about 8.35pm on Friday at Tarewa Rd and he blew 524mcg.

An hour later, another driver blew 527mcg when stopped at Porowini Ave.

Three drink-drivers were charged at a police checkpoint at Springs' Flat in Whangarei late on Friday.

Mr Adamson said a 43-year-old man from Hikurangi blew 728mcg - nearly twice the legal limit of 400mcg for those over 20.

Just after midnight, another driver from Hikurangi had 636mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

At 12.55am, a recidivist drink-driver blew 821mcg - more than twice the legal limit.

Mr Adamson said at 2.10am on Saturday, a 21-year-old motorist was observed running a red light on Bank St.

A breath test returned a reading of 657mcg.

He said the number of drink-drivers caught was a concern, particularly the ones at Springs' Flat, and has urged commuters to report traffic infringements.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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