Five drink-drivers stopped in less than an hour

By imran ali

1 comment
Police concerned about high rate of boozed motorists as a long weekend approaches, when Northland roads would be a lot busier. Photo: File
Police concerned about high rate of boozed motorists as a long weekend approaches, when Northland roads would be a lot busier. Photo: File

Whangarei police stopped five drink-drivers in less than an hour, including a young man who allegedly drove in central Whangarei while more than four times over the legal limit.

The drivers' actions have prompted a police warning for motorists to ensure they make appropriate arrangements to get home after drinks, especially over the coming long weekend when Northland roads would be a lot busier.

Expect more police presence on the roads and on the streets to ensure partygoers reach their homes safely, Whangarei Senior Sergeant Stephanie Hudson said.

Ms Hudson said a 20-year-old man was stopped at 1.56am yesterday on John St and a breath test revealed an alcohol level of 1046 micrograms of alcohol per litre of blood - more than four times over the 250mcg legal limit for drivers 20 years and over.

The man is facing one charge of drink-driving and will appear in the Whangarei District Court on October 26.

Four more drink-drivers were stopped within half an hour early yesterday.

Ms Hudson said an 18-year-old man allegedly blew 314mcg at 1.15am and four minutes later a 19-year-old was caught with a blood alcohol of 400mcg.

He was a disqualified driver.

Both drivers were stopped on Maunu Rd.

The limit for drivers under 20 is zero.

At 1.40am, a 21-year-old driver from Raumanga was stopped on Otaika Rd and recorded a reading of 744mcg.

Five minutes later, a 23-year-old man driving along Otaika Rd was stopped and gave a reading of 636mcg.

In another incident, an 18-year-old driver was arrested on Riverside Dr about midnight on Friday for refusing to provide a blood specimen.

Ms Hudson said the man allegedly backed into another vehicle on Cameron St about 11.20pm on Friday before he was seen overtaking a car on Riverside Dr.

He is facing charges of refusing to provide a blood sample, driving at a dangerous speed and careless driving.

The teenager has been bailed to appear in court on Wednesday.

Mr Hudson said nine drink-drivers have been stopped and charged in Whangarei between Friday evening and midday yesterday.

"If people are planning a few drinks they must make arrangements to get home safely. Labour Weekend will see more cars on the roads and people continuing to drink and drink means more danger on the roads," she said.

According to the Ministry of Transport, drink-driving caused an average of 77 deaths, 436 serious injuries and 1252 minor injuries throughout New Zealand every year.

- Northern Advocate

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