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Police disappointed with level of alcohol impaired driving

Police disappointed with level of alcohol impaired driving

Sunday, 15 December 2013 - 5:37pm

As police approach the end of Operation Unite, they say they are disappointed by the number of people found to have excess breath or blood alcohol while driving. Operation Unite began on Friday and continues through to Sunday. Operation Unite is a joint initiative of Police Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand. It demonstrates the united determination of police to challenge alcohol misuse, crime, violence and anti-social behaviour and achieve significant change in Australia and New Zealand. It aimed to:

target drink drivers in rural and urban areas;
rigorously enforce breaches of liquor bans and alcohol offences in public places;
target under-age drinking through high visibility patrols, infringement notices and follow up with young people's parents/caregivers;
conduct spot checks of on and off license premises, hotels and clubs; and
work with partner agencies to reinforce community safety.
Friday Night saw 682 Police staff joined by 90 staff from partner agencies such as Maori Wardens, and Local Authority Staff. Again they were out in numbers on Saturday night as 687 Police were staff joined by 70 staff from partner agencies.

Preliminary results for Friday and Saturday night indicate that 120 alcohol related assaults occurred and there were over 336 alcohol related arrests.

A total of 179 breaches of the current sale of liquor act were detected, including 32 sales of alcohol to minors in licensed premises after 260 premises were tested in controlled purchase operations.

Over the two nights 43,916 drivers were checked for being alcohol impaired.

Inspector Ben Offner, Manager: Alcohol Harm Prevention says “We’re extremely disappointed with the high number of people who were detected drink driving. While we don’t have the final results, we are left aghast by the number of people who continue to put others at risk by getting behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol. One is one too many, but there were plenty more and they should all know better.”

“As we lead into the busy Christmas period, this should be a wake-up call for all New Zealanders, to make alternative transport arrangements if they plan on drinking. We all have a responsibility to ensure our mates, family and whanau get home safely and make responisble decisions on the road.”

In addition to checkpoints, police made 240 brief interventions by handing resources to intoxicated persons.

Inspector Offner says “These interventions are a great way to prevent people under the influence of alcohol from coming to further harm later in the night.”

Police made 16 direct referrals to Alcohol Helpline. This initiative is operating as part of a pilot project partnered by ACC and Alcohol Help Line.

Finally in Auckland, Police staff conducted an extensive education program with licensed premises, particularly focusing on charter boats operating bars on their boats.


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