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The bottle or throttle- not both warn Waikato Police

The bottle or throttle- not both warn Waikato Police

Choose the bottle or the throttle, but not both is the message from Waikato Police concerned at some high alcohol readings they have recorded against offending drivers over the festive season.

Acting Road Policing Manager, Inspector Marcus Lynam, said the call comes amidst the thousands of drivers heading into the Waikato all bound for popular holiday spots.

"There has been major congestion reported on the Southern Motorway heading into the Waikato and on SH2 to the Coromandel and a number of crashes have compounded the issue further.

"Then we've had three incidents involving intoxicated drivers where but for a bit of good luck, we could have been dealing with tragedies."

Mr Lynam said the first incident involved the sole occupant of a Honda Accord that crashed into a power-pole on Carrington Ave, near the University of Waikato about 4pm on Christmas Day.

"The 30-year-old man had been reported by members of the public driving erratically a short time earlier and was seen to drive right over the traffic island at the round-about at the intersection of Ruakura and Silverdale Roads.

"When located by Police the driver had passed out due to his level of intoxication and when breath tested at the station returned a breath alcohol test result of 1295mgms, over three times the legal limit."

Mr Lynam said at the time the man crashed his car, several family groups were out walking to and from nearby parks on the offender's route and Police believe all the parties concerned were very lucky that the intoxicated driver collided with a power-pole and not a person.

"He was charged with third or subsequent driving with excess breath alcohol and dangerous driving," said Mr Lynam.

The next incident also happened in Hamilton, on Boxing Day morning.

"At about 9am officers carried out a routine traffic stop in Hamilton East and became concerned about a 26-year-old male driver.

"Taking him back to the Hamilton Central Police Station, the driver returned a breath alcohol test result over 800mgms, more than twice over the legal limit for a fully licensed driver."

Mr Lynam said this driver had his licence suspended and was charged with driving with excess breath alcohol.

"It appears this driver had been drinking the night before and didn't give sufficient time for the alcohol to leave his system before getting back behind the wheel.

"As a result he was driving while still under the influence, an all too common occurrence and something Police want to prevent with New Years celebrations just three days away."

The third incident involved a 24-year-old Matamata man who crashed his car after he had been drinking and damaged a power-pole, streetlight-pole, three fences and a number of windows of homes after he lost control of his station-wagon on Western St about 1am yesterday.

"This driver was located battered and bruised about 11 hours later, and charged with a number of driving related offences.

"The common thread in each of these incidents is that they all involved alcohol and in two of them, they involved crashes and a sizeable element of luck in avoiding serious injury or worse. Police are urging drivers to avoid drinking alcohol and reminding motorists that any driver stopped can expect to have to undergo a compulsory alcohol check as we work to prevent trauma on our roads."


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