Po­lice dis­ap­pointed at drink driv­ers

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page -

Waikato Po­lice are warn­ing drinkers in ru­ral ar­eas to change their at­ti­tudes to­wards drink­ing and driv­ing fol­low­ing a surge of ar­rests in the Mata­mata area re­cently.

Dis­trict road polic­ing man­ager In­spec­tor Leo Tooman said the most dis­ap­point­ing ex­am­ple was a 34-year-old woman who re­turned a breath al­co­hol read­ing of 1240mg af­ter be­ing stopped by po­lice in Te Poi shortly af­ter mid- day last Sun­day. The woman was now fac­ing her fifth charge for driv­ing with ex­cess breath al­co­hol.

‘‘When you con­sider the le­gal al­co­hol limit for a fully-li­censed driver is 400mg per litre of breath, the fact this woman was over three times the le­gal limit dur­ing the mid­dle of the day is a ma­jor con­cern for us,’’ said Mr Tooman.

Five other driv­ers were pro­cessed for driv­ing with ex­cess breath al­co­hol in Mata­mata last Fri­day, while one pas­sen­ger was also ar­rested for dis­or­der.

‘‘Fri­day night’s ar­rests in­cluded a woman stopped in Mata­mata who blew 598mg,’’ said Mr Tooman.

‘‘She had been drink­ing in Toko­roa and was on her way to Auck­land when stopped by po­lice, which shows drink driv­ers aren’t just pos­ing a risk on their way home, they can be trav­el­ling quite some dis­tance. Each of these driv­ers now knows they face the risk of en­coun­ter­ing po­lice any­where and at any time.

‘‘But our of­fi­cers can’t be ev­ery­where.

‘‘Each driver pro­cessed was a case of a tragedy be­ing avoided. What we need is for these peo­ples’ friends and rel­a­tives to step up and tell them it’s not okay to drink and drive,’’ Mr Tooman said.

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