Drink-driving push works
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.’’