The number of people convicted and fined for drink driving in Rotorua and Eastern Bay of Plenty is dropping but police say this sort of risky behaviour is "totally unacceptable".
And police are ramping up their efforts over the summer to try to stamp out risky behaviour on the roads, including people driving under the influence of booze and/or drugs.
Ministry of Justice and police figures revealed that 332 people were convicted in Rotorua District Court for driving while impaired by alcohol in the year to June 30, 2020, and another five for driving with drugs in their system.
Another 187 drivers were convicted in Whakatane District Court and 49 in the Opotiki District Court for drink-driving.
That's despite the Bay of Plenty district being in lockdown for seven weeks and the Covid-19 alert level 3 restrictions impacting on the number of vehicles travelling on local roads.
This compared to 388 people convicted in Rotorua District Court during the 2018/2019 fiscal year, 262 in Whakatane District Court and 83 in Opotiki District Court.
The convictions included people charged with refusing to give a blood specimen.
The figures did not take into account those caught exceeding the adult breath alcohol of 250 micrograms, 50 mg blood alcohol and under-20 zero alcohol limit.
That accounts for another 124 adult drivers and 34 aged under 20 in Rotorua and 116 in Eastern Bay of Plenty, plus 27 under 20 who were issued with infringement notices.
This compared to a total of 219 in (Rotorua) and 188 (Eastern BOP) in 2018/2019.
Those caught driving with more than 400 mcg of breath alcohol faced prosecution.
Five drivers in Rotorua and 11 in the Eastern Bay of Plenty district were also convicted for driving under the influence of drugs, compared to a total of 12 five years ago.
Police said alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in about a third of all fatal crashes.
Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe said police focused on four main factors that contributed to fatal and serious injury crashes on our roads.
"That is, restraints [not wearing seatbelts, using car seats for children] impairment [by alcohol, drugs or fatigue], distractions [eg using a cellphone] and excess speed.
"So it follows that anyone driving while impaired is a huge concern for police and a significant risk to our community," Crowe said.
"Frustratingly, police in the Bay of Plenty continue to find extremely high alcohol readings among a small number of drivers tested, which is totally unacceptable behaviour putting themselves and other road users at extreme risk.
"Our message is that drinking and driving is socially, morally and legally wrong."
He said with daylight saving, people were rightly getting out and socialising more and, put simply, "if you drink, or think you may end up drinking, do not drive".
"Have a plan, get a ride with a designated sober driver, share a taxi, or stay the night. Don't risk it," he said.
"Police remain committed to preventing harm in our communities as the summer months approach, especially on our roads. We will continue to target impaired drivers, however we need everyone to take a responsible approach to their driving."
Several Rotorua providers of alcohol and drug addiction services said they were too busy to talk, while others reported being "full-on" due to increased numbers of inquiries.
Haehaetu Barrett, regional manager of the Lifewise Rotorua (Bay of Plenty) Mental Health & Addiction Services, said there was a "medium" waiting list for clients.
Due to complexities across their mental health and addiction services and the waitlist, more staff had been engaged to help cope with increased demand, she said.
Barrett said more funding was required at the prevention and intervention levels.
She said more information was needed for families and whānau within the community about what services were available and how they can be accessed.