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Joint operation to reduce harm caused by alcohol abuse

Northland District Headquarters
Walton Plaza, Whangarei
Thursday December 6, 2012

Northland Police will be out in force on the roads and streets this weekend in an effort to reduce the harm caused by alcohol abuse.

The patrols are part of Operation Unite, a joint operation between New Zealand and Australian police to target alcohol harm.
The operation runs from 6pm to 6am on Friday and Saturday nights, which are the risk times for alcohol intoxication requiring police and other agency intervention.

During this time staff from Traffic Alcohol Group (TAG), Highway Patrol, and frontline staff will be carrying out preventative activities around Northland.
These will include checking licensed premises and party venues, carrying out foot patrols, and holding compulsory breath testing checkpoints.

Northland Road Policing Manager Inspector Murray Hodson says at least a third of recorded violence offences and family violence incidents in 2009/10 were committed where the offender had consumed alcohol prior to committing the offence.

"Alcohol is also a significant factor in public disorder offences and fatal or serious injury crashes.
This is unacceptable and there are many people in our communities suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse."

Mr Hodson says youth continue to be a high risk group around alcohol, often preloading on cheap drinks prior to heading into town where they become potential victims and offenders.

"We will be carrying out hotel visits this weekend to ensure liquor licence holders are complying with the Sale of Liquor Act and, in particular, are not serving underage drinkers.
Duty Managers must ensure that intoxicated people are not served and that, as part of host responsibility, they have a decent amount of food available when serving alcohol."

Mr Hodson says drink driving is still a major problem in Northland and if people choose to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol then they will get caught or, worse, end up killing or seriously injuring other road users.

"So be aware, Police will be out in force this weekend and we will have a zero tolerance to any poor behaviour related to alcohol use."


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