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Waikato Police see pink over drink driving

Waikato Police see pink over drink following drunk driver operation

North Waikato Police are concerned too many women are getting behind the wheel of motor vehicles intoxicated after an alcohol focused operation over the weekend left them seeing pink over drink.

Officer in charge of the Huntly Strategic Traffic Unit, Sergeant Juliet Burgess said of nine drivers found over the legal alcohol limit in Huntly and Ngaruawahia on Friday and Saturday, seven were women.

"The highest reading was from a 32-year-old Ngaruawahia student whose car collided with a parked trailer. She drove off and was located by Police at an Old Taupiri Rd address, when breathalysed she returned a breath alcohol result of 1108mgms.

"If that wasn't bad enough, late on Friday afternoon a member of the public, driving north on SH1 at Horotiu, phoned *555 to report a car driving slowly and swerving in its lane as it headed north."

Ms Burgess said the car was stopped in Ngaruawahia where it was found the 29-year-old Te Kauwhata female driver had a learner licence and was already wanted by Police for service of a demerit point license suspension.

"The woman, who was wearing a seatbelt when stopped, returned a breath alcohol reading of 1007mgms but the officer who stopped her was appalled to find two children, aged three and five- years-old, sitting unrestrained in the back seat. A man sitting in the front passenger seat had also been drinking but he also had the presence of mind to have his seatbelt on.

"As a Police officer I have to ask where people's minds are at when they can drink heavily but still have the presence of mind to put their seat belts on but give no thought to the risks posed to the children in the back left unrestrained while being driven by a drunk driver."

Ms Burgess said the member of the public who saw something and then did something- by ringing *555 and advising Police, prevented a potential tragedy.

"Friday afternoon's incident is a situation where other, older family members allowed young children to be put at risk. Keeping people safe from the risks posed by drinking and driving isn't just the responsibility of the Police, it's the responsibility of all of the community to send a message that drinking and driving is not OK."

ends

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