236 drinking drivers prosecuted from Operation Raid 2
12:41pm 7 July 2007
A second Police nationwide blitz on drink-driving last night stopped 26760 drivers and found a shocking 236 drunk drivers.
"A range of indicators are showing that the level of drink driving has been rising. Drink drive prosecutions have been increasing by around 1,000 per year, alcohol related injury crashes have been increasing and recently, the number of dead drunk drivers has also risen," said Superintendent Dave Cliff, the National Road Policing Manager.
"We cannot afford to be complacent even though nowadays most thinking people say they do not drink and drive, the evidence here shows that there are more out there than we like to admit.
For the first time since the alcohol surveys began, drink drive rates have risen from 0.7% of late night drivers (2200 - 0200 Friday and Saturday nights) in 2004 to 0.9% in 2006 - a statistically significant increase.
Furthermore, the Public Attitudes to Road Safety Survey has highlighted that less than 50% of drivers now believe it is likely they will be stopped at a checkpoint, which is the lowest level since 1999."
Alcohol related injury crashes peak between the hours of 1800 and 0400 on Friday and Saturday nights.
The first Operation RAID breath tested over 43,000 drivers nationally and also resulted in more that 350 drivers facing prosecution.
National spokesperson Superintendent Dave Cliff (027) 2490325
Operation RAID(2) (Remove ALL Impaired Drivers) - National
Results 6 - 7 July 2007
District Bth tests Prosecuted Blood tests
Northland 1267 19 4
Waitemata 4559 28 6
Auckland 2176 5 2
Counties Mku 1683 24 5
Waikato 1084 22 3
Bay of P 1489 25 2
Eastern 764 30 7
Central 2152 17 2
Wgtn 8599 32 5
Tasman (Tba) 6 1
Canterbury 405 9 1
Southern 2582 19 4
Total 26760 236 42
The atrocious weather conditions around the country overnight meant traffic was lighter than normal around the country with conditions particularly bad in Auckland. Despite this, over 26,000 drivers were stopped with 236 facing prosecution from driving with excess breath alcohol and a further 42 awaiting the results of blood tests.
Please remain saddened and concerned that so many drivers are still prepared to risk their own lives and those of others by driving while impaired.
An English tourist with three children in the car was checked by Police travelling at 143 kmh in driving snow. His driver licence was immediately suspected for 28 days. Shortly after, a Phillipino tourist, also with three children in the car was checked at 135 also in driving snow.
Canterbury Police were shocked at the complete disregard these drivers showed for the safety of themselves, the child passengers and other road users.
A pursuit took place in Hamilton city with the driver being apprehended by Police and processed for drunk driving. He was found to have a Breath Alcohol reading of 835 mgms, more than twice the legal limit.
Police in Lower Hutt were involved in a pursuit throughout the northern suburbs, which lasted approximately 20 minutes. The male driver was apprehended and faces serious charges including Dangerous Driving, Failing to Stop, Driving with Excess Breath Alcohol and Driving while Forbidden. His vehicle was been impounded and he will be appearing in Court shortly.
A 15 year old male was seen by Detectives travelling at speed without head lights on while driving on Featherston Street. He was stopped and recorded a breath alcohol level of 400 mgms. He faces Youth Aid action. At that breath alcohol level, he placed himself at 86 times the risk of being involved in a fatal crash as compared with a sober driver.
One car containing several passengers failed to stop at a checkpoint on Buckle Street and was pursued by Police onto the motorway and stopped. The driver was processed for driving and while that was occurring, the driver's friends returned to his car, removed the wheels and trashed the vehicle.
Police in Wellington also attended a crash where a car turning hard left from Aro Street into Durham St was struck on its left side by a driver Police allege was impaired who had just overtaken another vehicle at high speed. Two drivers and three passengers were injured.
Bay of Plenty
A 27 year old Norwegian tourist was processed for drunk driving (796 mgms) and dangerous driving and had his driver licence suspended immediately for 28 days. He was found by Police travelling 120 km/h in a 50 km/hour area on Papamoa Beach Rd (Papamoa) near Domain Road. He attempted to hide from Police but was located as he tried to travel in the opposite direction with his lights off and nearly hit a patrol car in the process. He will be appearing in Court this morning.
The highest reading was recorded by a 19 year old caught at Rotorua who blew 952 mgms.
One serious recidivist was prosecuted for drunk driving. This person had ten (10) previous convictions for drunk driving and three (3) convictions for driving while disqualified.
One driver at Cromwell attempted to evade a mobile patrol and sped off at 124kmh in an 80kmh area only to be stopped by another patrol coming the other way. He had his driver licence suspended for 28 days and notices issued for breaching his driver licence conditions and excessive speed. He had not been drinking but told Police that he didn't want to be caught breaching his licence. Sgt Ereckson - Cromwell Police
The highest level recorded in the Central District was a driver who recorded a breath alcohol level of 1157mg, nearly three times the legal limit.
The weather at the time of the operation was dreadful. The rain was so heavy at 11pm that traffic speed was down to about 50 km/h on the motorway. The Police Motorways section attended thirteen (13) crashes. Despite the appalling weather, the Highway Patrol still apprehended one driver travelling at 126 km/h. while other drivers had slowed on the motorway to 50 km/hr.
One police officer was involved with an obstructive vehicle passenger who was arrested for obstruction, resisting arrest and assaulting Police (he bit the officer on the leg so hard the officer's skin was broken).
Copyright 2008 New Zealand Police