Drink-driv­ing push works

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

Mata­mata po­lice are pleased at the re­sult of a drink-driv­ing sting that found no driv­ers to be over the le­gal breath al­co­hol limit.

A booze bus came over from Hamil­ton on Satur­day evening, with 490 cars stopped at check­points on Firth St and Wa­haroa Rd West, and by patrol cars across town.

While no driv­ers were found with ex­cess breath al­co­hol, 15 tick­ets were is­sued for other in­fringe­ments and two driv­ers had their li­cences sus­pended for ex­cess demerit points. Sergeant Gra­ham McGurk said the check­points were part of an on­go­ing fo­cus on traf­fic polic­ing as part of the preven­tion first strat­egy.

‘‘I’m pretty pleased with the fact no drink driv­ers were en­coun­tered,’’ he said.

‘‘A few week­ends ago there were four peo­ple caught so hope­fully the mes­sage is get­ting through.’’

Mr McGurk un­der­stood so­cial me­dia was of­ten used to warn peo­ple of check­points but said it was still a good re­sult.

There was al­ways a con­cern that some peo­ple had the men­tal­ity it was OK to drive home af­ter drink­ing if they back roads, he said.

‘‘Mata­mata is sur­rounded and in­ter­sected by ma­jor state high­ways – there is no such thing as the lit­tle back road home.

‘‘ Drink­ing and driv­ing can never be tol­er­ated in any way.’’

Mr McGurk said there were two ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing drunk driv­ers


the that he al­ways came back to when re­mind­ing peo­ple of the dangers.

The first was a crash near Te Poi, where a fa­ther was driv­ing home from the pub with his 15-year-old son in the back seat.

The fa­ther was not hurt. His son was killed in­stantly.

The sec­ond was in Wa­haroa and again it was a pas­sen­ger who was killed af­ter the driver turned into the path of a milk tanker.

The pas­sen­ger’s home was less than a few hun­dred me­tres from where they had been drink­ing.

‘‘In both ac­ci­dents the driv­ers suf­fered no ma­jor in­juries,’’ said Mr McGurk.

‘‘They both pleaded guilty to drink driv­ing caus­ing death and went to jail.

‘‘There are peo­ple who think they are not do­ing any­thing wrong be­cause they are not harm­ing any­one.

‘‘But it is a law of av­er­ages – even­tu­ally they will get caught or worse.’’

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