Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Drunk drivers shock police

Police are disappointed at the amount of drunk drivers caught during an operation last night. Photo / File
Police are disappointed at the amount of drunk drivers caught during an operation last night. Photo / File

Waikato police say they're disappointed and shocked at the amount of drunk drivers caught during an operation in Cambridge last night.

A 26-year-old blew 1071mcg - more than four times the legal limit of 250mcg - while seven others were also caught.

Senior Sergeant Stephen Ambler said the shocking and surprising aspect was finding so many - eight - over the limit during a three-hour period [6.30pm-9.30pm] in a rural area.

"That's a lot. That's a lot in rural Waikato, that's enormous. If that was a Friday night in Hamilton city that would still be a lot."

Mr Ambler said those who blew under 400mcg received a $200 fine, 50 demerit points and were then forbidden to drive for between 12 and 24 hours.

Those blew over 400mcg, will have an appointment with the Hamilton District Court.

"Our message is if you're going to drink, don't drive, find an appropriate sober driver to take you home. The limits are lower and you need to make alternative arrangements."

It was also disappointing considering the number of people who have already died on the roads in Waikato.

"We've had a terrible start to the year in relation to fatalities and serious crashes in the Waikato, it's common knowledge that impaired drivers are at risk for crashes. The thing also about Cambridge is it's surrounded by a 100km/h road."

Mr Ambler said there didn't appear to be anything special happening in the town or the Thornton Rd area last night.

"I can't put any context around it, there was nothing significant that we're aware of last night that would account for the increased volume of drink drivers on the road but it's a pretty disappointing result. It is our strategy in relation to drink drivers, we show up to these checkpoints in highly visible areas, people know they're going to be stopped and processed for drink driving if they're over the limit. It's no secret, we've been doing it a long time now."

- NZ Herald

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