A family was told by police to detain a suspected drunk driver who had crashed into the fence at their property until they could free up resources.

Julia and Mat Taylor, of Halswell, were watching television with their newborn baby fast asleep when they heard a loud noise outside their Ensign St home.

A suspected drunk driver had gone through their fence, driven on and stopped a few streets further to check on the damage to his car.

He was brought back by a neighbour.

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When she called 111, Mrs Taylor said the operator asked them to keep the man at their property for as long as possible until police could get there.

Police could not tell them when police would arrive because there were a number of high priority call-outs, including family violence and mental health incidents.

She said the advice given to them was "ridiculous".

"We just thought we can't just leave him here ... I can't handcuff him to the fence, I can't do anything," said Julia Taylor.

Police said the driver was "compliant and happy to wait".

Julia Taylor did take the keys off the alleged drunk driver, but did not detain the driver.

She said the neighbour took the driver home as they did not know when the police would be free.

She said the driver came to their house the following day to collect his keys and apologise.

Police did not attend the incident and told the Western News last Monday they would be following up with the driver.

However, police then said on Friday "there are no further lines of inquiry" and they would not be looking into the matter.

Julia Taylor said she was surprised by this and thought police would have already followed up with the driver, as they had given them his details.

The incident didn't come as a surprise to the Taylors.

Julia Taylor said they had been "expecting" something to happen ever since moving to Ensign St in late 2016.

She said cars do burn-outs and drive at speed on the street "most nights".

Julia Taylor believes speed bumps would solve the issue.

- Star.kiwi