200 drink-drivers caught in big blitz

More than 200 people will be charged with drink-driving after a police blitz in South Auckland on Friday and Saturday nights.

Twelve checkpoints were set up in Manukau and Papakura and 13,593 vehicles were stopped over the two nights.

Police said 216 drivers were over the legal breath alcohol limit.

Counties Manukau road policing manager Inspector Heather Wells said it was an unacceptable number of drunk drivers to have on the roads.

One driver who was found to be over the limit had his vehicle taken off him.

He returned home and got his father's car and was stopped at another checkpoint and processed again.

He was again over the limit. He told police he was driving because he wanted to get to a kava party.

Three drivers obtained spare keys for their cars and drove after being processed, Ms Wells.

All these drivers ended up with two drink-drive charges for the night.

One male passenger abused police and then tried to take one of their patrol cars after his wife was taken into the "booze bus" for testing.

A 17-year-old youth was stopped for driving at 190km/h on the Southern Motorway.

He blew a reading of 589mcg of alcohol per litre of breath - nearly four times the under-20 legal limit.

He told police he was in a hurry to pick up his girlfriend.

Court bailiffs also joined the blitz. They checked for vehicles registered to people who had outstanding fines and reparation owing to victims.

They seized 35 vehicles and collected $6130 cash.

Twenty-five people were arrested for a variety of offences such as stolen vehicles, failing to stop, assaults, wanted on a warrant, and driving while disqualified. Eighty-six drivers had their licences suspended and 37 vehicles were impounded.

"The results from this weekend show there are still drivers on our roads who show a total disregard for the safety of other road users, said Ms Wells.

"Too many innocent people are being killed or injured on our roads through drivers who break the laws."

Police were committed to a hard-line approach to remove high-risk offenders from the roads.

- NZPA

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