Young still driv­ing drunk

Central Leader - - News - By Janie Smith

Po­lice are wor­ried the anti-drink driv­ing mes­sage is not get­ting through to young peo­ple.

A po­lice op­er­a­tion held at 3am around Auck­land city on Septem­ber 13 and 14 caught 147 drunk driv­ers, in­clud­ing 37 aged un­der 20.

Road polic­ing man­ager in­spec­tor Gavin Macdon­ald was shocked by the num­ber of young women driv­ing drunk.

“They have to re­alise that at that time of the morn­ing, they are tired and haven’t been eat­ing. They’ve got to give the body a chance to fil­ter out the al­co­hol.”

He says one girl said she hadn’t been drink­ing for two hours be­fore be­ing stopped, but still had more than twice the breath al­co­hol limit.

A num­ber of peo­ple also said they had to go to work not long af­ter be­ing caught by the check­point.

“A lot of peo­ple are hav­ing two hours’ sleep and are still drunk. They shouldn’t be driv­ing.”

Dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, 16 ve­hi­cles were im­pounded and 51 peo­ple had their li­cence sus­pended af­ter re­turn­ing a read­ing of more than 650 mi­cro­grams of al­co­hol per litre of breath.

One per­son was ar­rested for steal­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle and 11 oth­ers ar­rested for a va­ri­ety of of­fences.

“I couldn’t be­lieve the at­ti­tude to­wards drink driv­ing. Peo­ple were pretty blase about it,” says Mr Macdon­ald.

He says a lot of peo­ple don’t seem to be plan­ning ahead and des­ig­nat­ing a sober driver to get them home af­ter a night on the town.

“It’s not worth putting your­self or the pub­lic at risk.”

Po­lice will be hold­ing more op­er­a­tions in dif­fer­ent places at var­i­ous times of the day and night.

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