An "alarming" number of drink-drivers were caught on Wairarapa roads over the weekend, and excessive Rugby World Cup revelry may be to blame.

Fourteen people were caught drink-driving in Masterton alone between Thursday and Saturday, while two other drink-drivers were caught in South Wairarapa and two in Pahiatua during the same period.

Most of the drivers were young males, aged between 18 and 33, with the highest recorded reading 971 micrograms of alcohol per litre of blood. The limit is 400mcg, or zero for drivers under 20.

Masterton Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr said the numbers were "a bit alarming".


"It's hard to say that it's definitely Rugby World Cup related but you'd have to say that it may be related. You've got a lot people watching the sport and having a few drinks."

He said most of the drivers had been tested during random stops, but others had been caught at a checkpoint.

"By all means socialise and enjoy the World Cup and the atmosphere that it creates but just think about what you're doing," he said.

Wairarapa Road Safety Council manager Dave Ryan said he was surprised by the high number caught. "It's obvious that it's still a bit of a worry that the drink-drive message isn't completely getting through."

The most recent roading statistics for Wairarapa show alcohol and drugs had played a "slightly above average" role in road crashes in Carterton and South Wairarapa over the past five years, he said.

"It's a bit of a shame that people don't recognise that fact and make alternative arrangements for getting home after having a drink."

South Wairarapa officer in charge Sergeant Kevin Basher said one of those caught in South Wairarapa was a 25-year-old man who was stopped at 4.30am on Sunday.

He said it would be fair to say the World Cup had played some part in terms of people drinking more - "but we usually pick [drink-drivers] up pretty regularly around here".


Pahiatua officer in charge Sergeant Jymahl Glassey said one of those caught in Pahiatua was under 20, with the other an older person who blew twice the legal limit.

Meanwhile, Wellington police district World Cup commander Inspector Simon Perry said there were four arrests and 12 evictions during the Australia versus United States game at Wellington Stadium, followed by five arrests and 11 evictions during the Scotland versus Argentina game.