Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Sixteen people caught drink driving in 16 hours

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Three teams of police carried out drink driving stings in Rotorua at the weekend. PHOTO/FILE
Three teams of police carried out drink driving stings in Rotorua at the weekend. PHOTO/FILE

Sixteen people in 16 hours were caught drink driving in Rotorua during a police sting at the weekend.

The special police operation on Friday and Saturday nights resulted in 4070 vehicles being stopped over a 16-hour period.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe said 16 people were charged with drink driving, eight vehicles were impounded for offences such as driving while disqualified or driving without a licence, and 369 infringement notices were issued for other traffic matters.

Mr Crowe said while there were 16 drink drivers too many, police were relatively pleased with the operation given how many vehicles were stopped.

Police were also pleased there weren't many extremely high readings.

Those who had a breath alcohol level of between 250 and 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath were given a $200 fine and 50 demerit points.

Those found with more than 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath were summonsed to appear in court.

"I would like to think that the culture of getting grossly intoxicated and getting into a motor vehicle and driving home is over. I am hoping that I am right.

"I haven't seen any figures around high readings and that's a good thing."

However, Mr Crowe said the Rotorua community could do better.

Mr Crowe said he had been made aware that members of the public were posting on Facebook where checkpoints were.

"We moved them around fairly quickly to give them a sense of unpredictability. Yes, it was well reported on Facebook but that prevents people from driving drunk and really that's what we are here to do."

Mr Crowe said in the past police would do surprise drink driving stings, but this year they reversed the tactics and advised the community they would be out in force.

However, he promised that would not be the end of the stings with more planned before Christmas.

In the year to September, 1801 people were charged with drink driving in the Bay of Plenty.

The most common times they were caught were Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

More than a third (37 per cent) of those caught were aged between 20 to 29.

Rotorua blitz:
16 people charged with drink driving
4070 vehicles stopped
Operation over Friday and Saturday nights, eight hours each night
Three police teams involved from Rotorua/Taupo, Western/Eastern Bay and Waikato

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