1200 stopped in booze blitz

By Alisa Yong -
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Police say people are getting the message about drink-driving after a booze blitz nabbed just one driver last weekend.
Police say people are getting the message about drink-driving after a booze blitz nabbed just one driver last weekend.

A drink-driver alleged to be more than four times the legal limit was caught during a booze blitz last weekend, but police say overall drink-driving is on the decline.

The booze bus and mobile police patrols were out in force last Friday night, stopping 1216 cars during a six-hour period.

Only one drink-driver, a 40-year-old Greytown man who blew 1050mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, was nabbed.

Acting traffic sergeant Shayne Nolan said the arrest fitted with the trend police were noticing of drivers being near the new lower level or being at the extremely high end - "the ones that simply don't care about the law".

However, there were less people drink-driving since the legal limit dropped to 250mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, Mr Nolan said.

"Overall from the high volume of cars that were pulled over the offences detected were low, which is good."

"For a Friday night it is pretty good, but it is something that we have seen a significant downward trend since the new legislation lowering the limit.

"Where people would go out and have four or five beers, people go out now and maybe have a couple.

"It is something that we are all noticing, it's pretty well nationwide. You do get, obviously as was noticed that night, people that do drink, but generally if someone does drink it's right at the lowest level where it's pretty much an infringement or it's that they are 'drunk' drunk."

Twelve constables from Wellington were in Wairarapa on Friday night, based in Chapel and High St and later Greytown.

"I'm definitely getting feedback from them that they are seeing a downturn in general, getting less and less people who have to blow evidentially but obviously they are catching a couple still who are just infringements."

Police also seized two cars from forbidden or suspended drivers and a number of safety and compliance tickets were issued, he said.

With the club rugby finals coming up, the next big push on alcohol would be next weekend, Mr Nolan said.

"With the club finals coming up locally we are stepping up our efforts and there will be extra staff around, policing in particular alcohol, whether public disorders or drink-driving."

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