A taxi driver caught allegedly four times over the new drink-drive limit will appear in court next month.

At the weekend, it was revealed the man was stopped by Counties Manukau police last month and allegedly blew a breath-alcohol reading of 1000 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

Legislation changes, which came into force only days ago, mean that blowing over 250 sees a driver fined and given demerit points.

A reading of more than 400 puts the driver before the courts.


It is unknown whether there were passengers in his vehicle.

It is believed the cab driver was working for Auckland Co-op Taxis at the time he was pulled over but yesterday chairman Jacob Patel said police and NZTA were unable to confirm whether the driver was one of his.

NZME. informed the company of the allegation on Friday and Mr Patel said since then they had initiated their own investigation.

Staff would look at GPS logs of the fleet and if necessary, CCTV footage from inside the cabs.

However, that usually only stretched back seven days.

Mr Patel said if one of his drivers was arrested for drink driving their licence was revoked by police and automatically suspended by Auckland Co-op Taxis.

He was confident that if the driver worked for him there was no chance he was on the road or had been since being charged.

Mr Patel said they were "very strict" with their staff and prided themselves on their good reputation.


NZTA said it would not comment on individual cases before they had been dealt with by the court but any cases of drink driving were a huge concern, especially seeing as taxis were vital in reducing such crimes.

If the man is convicted of drink driving, he will face a mandatory disqualification of at least six months and will have to reapply for a P (passenger) endorsement on their licence - which is required to work in the industry - at the conclusion of the ban.

But if he does not pass the agency's "fit and proper person check" he will be declined.

The maximum penalty for driving with excess breath alcohol is three months imprisonment, a $4500 fine and a minimum disqualification period of six months.