A motorist caught driving at 177 km/h in Otago was one of more than 200 infringements police issued over a four-day blitz in the lead-up to Christmas.

Southern District police have begun stepping up their enforcement on popular holiday driving routes, starting with a four-day blitz over last weekend.

More than 200 infringement notices were issued, the majority for speeding.

Police stopped a driver with three passengers travelling at 177 km/h on State Highway 8 near Omarama at 9.30am on Saturday. The driver was breath-tested and returned a breath alcohol reading of 603mcg, his fourth drink-driving offence. The legal limit is 400mcg per litre of breath.


The Christchurch resident was charged with dangerous driving and excess breath alcohol.

On Monday, police received a complaint from a member of the public about a driver unsafely overtaking other traffic.

The vehicle was located about 9.45am travelling at 139 km/h on SH97 near Five Rivers. The driver was issued with infringement notices for speed and unsafe overtaking.

One tourist driver was issued two fines for speeding within a short period of time by different police patrols.

Acting road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking said monitoring the holiday routes around Queenstown, Kingston and Te Anau was an increased focus for police.

"We know that we get lots of complaints about driving behaviour on these roads over the summer. The high police presence is aimed at deterring bad driving behaviour, preventing and reducing crashes, and responding quickly and effectively to complaints from the public."

Police would continue to use unmarked highway patrol cars throughout the coming months and speed cameras would be deployed across Southland and Otago over the holiday period.