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Police Car At Checkpoint Driven Into

Police Car At Checkpoint Driven Into
New Zealand Police National News Release
11:57am 8 September 2008

08 September 2008

A man is facing a variety of charges after driving his vehicle into a stationary Police car early on Saturday morning, allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

Officer in charge of the Hamilton Strategic Traffic Unit, Sergeant Phil Ruddell, said the incident happened on Bridge St, just down from the city's central police station.

"A traffic stop was set up just over the Victoria Bridge from the station, a Police patrol car was parked in the street with it's blue and red lights activated and there were a number of staff around it wearing hi-vis safety vests.

"A man has turned off Grey St on to Bridge St and failed to stop for the checkpoint, forcing staff to take cover to avoid being hit," said Mr Ruddell.

No-one was hurt in the crash however the Police patrol car suffered panel and suspension damage.

"The driver was breath tested and returned with an breath alcohol reading of 1100 microgrammes, the legal adult driver breath alcohol limit is 400 microgrammes of alcohol per litre of breath.

"The driver has been charged with excess breath alcohol and driving in a dangerous manner," said Mr Ruddell.

Friday night's crash was just one of several incidents during Operation Taipan 2, a joint Police and Court Bailiff endeavour carried out over Friday and Saturday nights.

Mr Ruddell said overall the results of the operation were very disappointing in terms of acceptance of the dangers of drinking and driving.

"The driver of the car that crashed recorded the highest reading however another 12 people recorded readings of over 700mgms.

"One 18-year-old male blew 547mgms and was driving while disqualified, the limit for drivers under 20 is 150mgms per litre of breath, while another five disqualified drivers were behind the wheel.

"In all 53 people are facing driving with excess breath alcohol charges while we are awaiting the blood results of an additional 13 drivers."

201 traffic infringement notices were issued by Police while eight vehicles were impounded, one driver was arrested for possession of cannabis.

Mr Ruddell said the weekend's results were disappointing and had caused much concern amongst Waikato staff that the dangers of drinking and driving were being ignored.

"Alcohol is a contributing factor in about 31 per cent of fatal road crashes in this country, despite the risks people seem to still be willing to drink and drive."

With finer weather approaching Police have a message to employers about host responsibility regarding after work drinks.

"One man pulled over at 11.30pm told us he'd had a 'couple' of drinks since finishing work at 4.30pm, breath tested he blew a result of 631mgms and was charged, his front seat passenger was oblivious to all this as he couldn't be woken.

"This highlights the issue of host responsibility, by all means celebrate the end of the working week with a few drinks but what we're asking employers is to ensure they monitor their staff's intake and ensure arrangements for them to make it home safely are in place."


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